In India 100 is synonymous with the Police but the irony is that public in India dread this very word, Its very presence must inspire confidence but it is contrary,In 1950 Justice AN Mullah called police as the "biggest organized goonda(goon)Force,Call100 is journey to empower citizens against the abuse power and corruption of Police.Indian Policing System has the exceptional assured career progression scheme for the criminal elements in Khaki uniform & we need to overhaul it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Police in India needs to be restructured,demilitarized

The police in India needs to be completely restructured, demilitarized, and made locally accountable with citizens’ oversight to attract and sustain public cooperation, and make it public lead, to win over trust of people, the "public trust" that remains cornerstone of successful policing.

In today’s era of fundamental terrorism and phase of transition to democracy where insurgency movements have sprang up for the failure of constitutional mechanisms, no police can succeed in its fight against terrorism or insurgency, until it has won over the trust of public. The trust that cannot be won over by sheer authority or brutal police force but with transparency and stringent accountability and performance measures in the hands of public.

The community and political leadership of India should not forget that the existing policing practices and its work culture provokes conflicts and deepened the crisis, eroding trust of common man on politically elected governments and creates environments where terrorism can prosper. The existing work culture of police remains in conflict with Democratic aspirations of the citizens and turns the democratically elected governments into the adversary of public.

The existing hierarchical structure of police needs to be flattened to decentralize the power formation to make it performance oriented, pro-active, responsive not only to the local community needs but to the individual needs of citizens in distress and directly accountable to the people and the rule of law. The top cops who constitute merely 0.13% of the police force but vested with absolute authority over 99.87% of the police force without any direct accountability, lead police force not due to any specialization but absolute administrative and disciplinary power formation .

The 87% of police comprises of the constables who have no legal empowerment, training to act as an independent first respondent to the individual needs of citizens in distress and victims of violent crime. The constabulary that forms the bedrock of the police organizations across the world, have no incentive or career progression programs in India and they remain the most used and abused lot.

The investigation officers that form 12% of the police force and constitute middle rung also remain victims of ill management, flawed recruitment and training that is headed and supervised by IPS officers. In general, the half of the 12% of investigation officers come from the constabulary and thus render the 93% of the police force into the instruments of obedience and compliance on the instructions of the police leadership that remains far from practical policing.

The existing police in various states of India is nothing but Armed Militia under the command of a bunch of people whose flawed recruitment and training renders them lacking in leadership and professional policing for being far from transformative and comprehensive process that can turn them into professional police officers. In the mid-70s the Gore committee report made detailed observations on the flawed recruitment system that was responsible for intake of substandard material into the IPS and this conclusion was based on the feedback received from a large number of state police chiefs but the recommendations of Gore committee were never acted upon.

During my 30 years of field experience with various Central/State police organizations and my interaction with a large number of IPS officers, their working and their reactive decisions to particular situations and its results substantiated ,that they lacked not only in leadership and organizing abilities but also lacked in aptitude necessary for a police officer and completely lacked on practical experience of policing that has no substitute and with this they lacked confidence and suffered with low self esteem that bred arrogance and secretive working and denial of information sharing for improvement lest they get exposed.

All the positions of Indian police service officers starting from SP/SSP/DIG/IG/ADG/DG are all at the administrative positions with no role in the front-line policing. All these positions have no specific operational role, direct responsibility and accountability. The authoritative and ceremonial work culture with colonial legacy, deprives them of their practical participation in the day-to-day policing and thus turning their positions into reactive and far from grassroots realities. There lack of direct accountability for police failure and the lack of practical experience, leads to their taking decisions in accordance to their proximity to the political powers rather than the sound policing experience and leads to complete politicization and corruption. In existing police organizational structure from Constable to DGP is a strict chain of command without any scope for political interference but it is the political decisions of police leadership, emanating out of bad policing that get attributed to political leadership for being conspicuous. In existing paramilitary organizational and work model of police, the political leadership cannot take operational policing decisions.

The Ministry of home affairs that is cadre controlling authority of IPS, Bureau of Police Research and Development that is apex body on police research in India and various state police organizations have repeatedly failed in providing us information on the operational role responsibility and accountability of IPS officers in the existing police organizations. The Union Public Service Commission that is autonomous body and responsible for recruitment of IPS officers, finally admitted in writing to us that they have no specific examination through which they can judge essential competencies and aptitude necessary for a police officer.

The complete recruitment system of police in India needs to be redrafted with complete prohibition of lateral entries at the level of IPS/Dy.SP/Inspector/Sub Inspector/Assistant Sub Inspectors except for the specialized positions with specialized educational qualifications and experience. Everyone needs to begin from entry-level confined to Constable with aptitude and psychological tests and on the job of education in subjects that are relevant to policing and gradual career progression in specific branches in accordance to aptitude and competencies developed over a period of time through practical experience.

The complete training regime of policing in India needs to be reorganized by distancing it from militarization that has been preparing police officers into perverted infantry combatants with the sadistic/disciplinary indoctrination that turns them into inhuman brutes of but servile instruments of coercion who blindly obey and comply the orders of administrative authorities without even questioning the legality of such orders.

Turning an individual into a professional police officer is highly transformative and comprehensive process of human mind that is oriented through practical police working stretched across period of time and cannot be substituted by higher academic degrees of various streams or training capsules of any kind.

 The only way to move forward is to begin the process of participation of all the stake holders and strengthen the political leadership with evidence based information and keep it alive as an ongoing process at city and town level by establishing independent citizens watchdog bodies that must monitor the limitations and challenges of existing system and simultaneously seek the reforms.