Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Singham ‘The Evil politics in policing’

Last night I watched the Hindi Film that had hit the theatres very recently ‘Singham’. It’s really been a very long time since I enjoyed watching a good film. To be honest, Singham is sure to be one of the best top-drawers of 2011. The movie actually took me to the flashback; as I have already mentioned several times that I being a crime reporter, enjoyed good rapport with the department. Sometimes, media over hyped the issues while sometime officers were favored by politicians. It was literally a rat race amongst the officers. Whatever it is, one thing which can be said for sure is that all these harry of Mumbai police were extremely dashing, handsome and courageous. They really had very good network for cracking crime cases. Those were the adventurous period in the history of Mumbai Underworld gang war.

Daya Naik, Sachin Waze , Pradeep Sharma, Late Vijay Salaskar, Sunil Mane, Late Ashok Kamte Sir, Shivanandan Sir are some of the names to mention who were very close to me. In fact, I learned to look at crime stories with very authentic angles only because of them. All these officers were and are very handsome and intelligent. Any ways as it was shown in the movie about the political atrocities on police department, and how the officers unite to sabotage the false trend, it made me remember those olden days of real life.

The history of interference in police investigations is pretty long-dated and entertaining. The importance of Home Portfolio is highlighted in Marathi epic “Simhasan” written By Arun Sadhu. Chief Minister facing challenge from his cabinet colleague manipulates support of MLAs by reminding them of criminal cases pending against them. Even the most upright character of the novel who is Assembly Speaker is not exempted and he directs his close confidant MLA to the Chief Minister Camp as he fears of charge against himself for not saving his wife from being dragged into deep waters. The lone witness is dispatched by CM to USA to obtain a favourable police report. In the same movie, we also come across a situation where in a C.I.D. inspector lays his hands onto a concrete evidence implicating CM’s brother-in-law in a smuggling case. He calls up CM stating the smuggling consignment has been seized and CM quips “Then take action; why should you call up in such matters”. On learning the reason the CM states “As per your conscience”. Needless to say the conscience of the C.I.D. inspector comes to the rescue of CM’s brother-in-law.

The “trend-setting” incident in the history of evil policing originates from northern-Indian State of Uttar Pradesh wherein Phoolan Devi; a woman dacoit who went on to become Member of Parliament, was turned down by local police when she complained of assault and rape by the Thakurs who are infamous for land-grab and atrocities upon villagers. Phoolan took to arms and unleashed a reign of terror in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Had the police acted with honesty and a sense of duty the history would have been different.
Mumbai cannot distinguish itself from Uttar Pradesh as in the very last month a police station in the plush and glamorous locality in suburban Mumbai; named Bandra west; turned down a teenager who was complaining of abduction and rape. She had to approach Bombay High Court and investigation was handed over to a lady officer attached to another police station to ensure impartiality. The senior inspector of Bandra was accused of shooting out the victim girl to protect the culprits. The same senior inspector plunged the police department into a most embarrassing scenario when he refused to register a case into an incident of land-grab; despite instructions from Mumbai Police Commissioner and Maharashtra CM. A petition was needed to be filed for getting the case registered. It would not be long when Mumbai would see an emergence of a Phoolan Devi.

A circular issued by Mumbai Police commissioner Arup Patnaik is a bible on the “evil policing”. Mr. Patnaik highlights various categories of “evil policing” ranging from orderlies of senior officers operating as parallel power centers to SRA developers “employing” serving police officers so that to ensure non-registration of complaints. He states in the circular that there is a nexus between the underworld and police to reap benefits of the SRA schemes and in this, politicians too are involved.

A female Additional Commissioner from the Bureau of Anti-Corruption of Mumbai was transferred abruptly to sabotage investigations into SRA schemes that were thriving upon defrauded records. A diary seized by her team during the investigations contained names of senior politicians and bureaucrats who had received ten percent of the total SRA turnover as kick-backs in advance. State government formed a committee to monitor the probe of the Bureau and the committee members are the same very people who figured in the diary.

The latest mind-boggling incident in the history of “evil policing” is that of Supreme Court slapping Rs. 10 lakhs penalty against Maharashtra Government for the misdeed of then CM Vilasrao Deshmukh who pressurized a police station not to register offence against a Congress MLA who was accused of recovering money from a farmer with hefty interest. In this judgment the Apex court has stated that its conscience is shaken by the manner in which Maharashtra politicians; especially the Constitutional functionaries “behave”. One of the two judges of the bench who delivered the verdict later expressed his anguish in a public speech over the fact that the judgment has not dithered the Central Government from allowing the minister to continue who has brought disgrace to the State.

The hick-defined rhinoceros shall continue to wield power via “evil policing” and new trends and newer trends shall be set in times to come. It is painful to note that out of total police force of the Mumbai city; 20 percent are “employed” as household help of the senior officers; doing jobs such as cleansing to escorting Memsaabs and kids. 20 percent are always on leave while 20 percent are into administrative and intelligence related tasks. That is to say only 40 percent cops are doing policing for the city with populace of over 1 crore 40 lakhs. And this 40 percent lot is subjected to interference in their work.

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