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RE: Proposals for restoring law and order
I am new to this group. So bear with me.
Is the purpose of this group to formulate ideas for somebody else to
follow? Or do some of you plan to take the plunge into politics and
practice them? Or do you plan to do something about the current situation
rather than wait until an auspicious moment comes around? If the answer is
"yes" to the first question, I don't want to continue in this group. If
"yes" to the second, I don't mind listening to your discussions. If the
answer is "yes" to the last question, I hope this group grows in numbers
and I will stick around for a long time.
Now, Sri Khatri identifies the problems with the present police system
very well. The suggestions for the separation of police and Sherif work
are exactly what are needed. But nobody in India is going to implement
these suggestions now.
Shall we wait till a good government comes which will listen to these
suggestions? A good government doesn't need our suggestions anyway!
My view is that we do something about Sri Khatri's ideas right now.
During the last few years about 30-40 people died in the
custody of police in each of the following states: AP, Bengal,
Maharashtra. I am sure it is likely to be the same in other states, but I
give the examples of these states because they are ruled by parties of
quite distinct ideologies. AP is ruled by TDP whose ideology is just
staying in power at all costs. Bengal is ruled by communists and
Maharashtra by BJP-Shiv Sena. But when it comes to killing people in
custody, there is no difference between these states. So, ideology has
little to do with it. Brutality is just a habit with the police.
Why don't we write to the home minister, Mr. Advani, and the home
ministers of these states, to put an end to custody murders. We will
present an award (or a check) to the home minister of any of these states
if they can attain a record of no custody deaths for two consecutive
years. I will contribute to that.
I am from AP. Two months ago there was an incident in AP which was
absolutely ugly. An SI refused to file a case of rape because it was a
poor woman who came to lodge the complaint. The perpetrator of rape was a
rich guy. The SI asked her to accept 3000 rupees and get lost. She
refused. His alternate suggestion was to bring 40,000 as dowry and ask the
rapist to marry her. No, this is not a joke.
Every time something like this happens, we should be willing to speak up
and protest. The responsibility of citizens in a democracy is to
participate. This is how we should participate. Intellectual discussions
on what is good and what is bad are fine. But we should put our money
where our mouths are. Otherwise, we are simply irrelevant arm-chair
Somebody said that all Indians are one people and that we are one nation.
I don't want to get into whether we are or we are not. To become a nation
which at least pretends to be made up of one people, we have to be equally
outraged whether it was a Gujarati that was raped or a Malayali. That is
when we become one people. When 20,000 Punjabis were raped by Mrs. Gandhi,
and they got mad as hell and wanted their own country, I have not seen the
outrage across the nation. Let's not repeat that. Let's get mad as hell
whether the government screws up in Madras or Bombay.
On Tue, 19 May 1998, Kush Khatri wrote:
> Charudatt <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> "I also believe that it is time to root out the use
> of torture in all police investigations. As far as I know, the use of
> torture is routine in Indian police work."
> Charu, thanks for bringing that up. In a democracy the police cannot
> use excessive force on citizens let alone torture. That torture today
> has become a SOP (standard operting procedure)in India, illustrates
> the degeneration of the police force and the seriousness of this
> problem. It is going to be a heck of a task to change and bring in
> the right democratic culture.
> Apart from trained police we need trained attorney generals
> (prosecutors) an institution that India does not have. Government
> prosecutors who are rightly trained are a big constraint on the police
> as the police has to report all arrests to the attorney generals
> office. The attorney generals (and his deputies) as lawyers are
> likely to honor constitutional rights as producing all arrested
> persons before a judge or a magistrate, than an unaccountable police
> inspector. Any evidence of torture means that charges against the
> accused will be immediately dismissed by the judge and an order for
> release will be issued.
> Additionally we must separate custody and prison systems from the
> police. Once an arrest is made the police hands over the accused to
> the "custodian" or the Sherif as it is called here. Most sherifs are
> elected. They and not the police should be "holding" the accused. The
> attorney general decides if the charges made by the police are based
> on proper evidence, and they not the police have the power to file
> You see how by segregation and dividing police responsibilites and
> powers you can create a reasonably just system. Once again remember
> these "systems" are already there for us to study and implement.
> The manifesto must clearly state that torture by police or anyother
> human being or institution will be a crime against humanity and people
> indulging in such crimes shall be prosecuted accordingly. Regards,
> Kush Khatri, D.C.
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