Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Police Story - Part II

The police story got far more interesting than I thought it would. The next day the affected party went to meet the Circle Inspector to file a complaint. The CI was rather offensive to the guy who accompanied the aggrieved party to begin with, for god knows what reasons, and hinted at dark futures if he was seen around the police station. The choicest gaalis, inspired by Delhi Belly no doubt were given as usual. It did appear that the CI was also not too favorable to the idea of filing a case. After the person accompanying was sent off with a few more gaalis, the CI then took the aggrieved party inside for a chat.

During the chat he asked why this person was mentioning the weight of the jewellery, how he knew they weighed so much, whether there were any receipts for this jewellery - generally hinting that this jewellery was really not lost and that this was being made up. He asked if there could really be that much gold, whether it was not fake imitation jewellery, and why so much gold (a few necklaces) was lying at home. He also threatened in a veiled way that the police could file a case if the information was wrong, that God would not be happy as well. Finally after all the threats and insinuations were done with he suggested that the complaint only carry the number of chains lost and not their value and weight. The general idea is that this could be a very messy affair if you persist with this line of filing complaints etc. The CI, one would imagine, stopped one step short of arresting the victim for filing a complaint. Maybe the next step would be to arrest the victim and beat him up till he confesses.

Reminds me of a joke that was forwarded to me on how to catch a tiger. 1). Newton's law: Allow the tiger to catch you, then you catch the tiger. 2) Veerappan's law:Kidnap tiger's wife and threaten tiger to surrender. 3) Indian police method: Catch a cat and beat it until it agrees to be a tiger!

It is no wonder that the Police Stations are the last places one wants to visit. The only people who seem comfortable visiting the police stations are criminals or people who have something to cover up or hide. No normal self-respecting person would like to go to file a complaint because the entire set up seems to treat the victim like the perpetrator. Naturally with its warped sense of justice and law and order, the police would treat the perpetrators like the victims- just like in the movies!

Don't go until you know someone there, until someone can talk to someone there or until you have to make a deal with them seems to be the general perception. Is this how the protectors of law and order are meant to be, or am I missing something here? Is it normally this way worldwide? I heard someone tell me the other day that a senior police officer was lamenting that the police is not being respected. How does anyone respect anyone if this is the treatment you get for merely filing a complaint? Respect has to be earned, not got by fear or threat. It might surprise the police officer to know where the police force is ranked in terms of departments to be trusted and respected in the Indian society. Unless the police department does something to revamp its image, it is tough for them to earn any respect, any supporters at all. And like I said if there were a parallel force, outsourced and within the law certainly (unlike the mafia), it would be a very profitable venture surely. The police only reflect the state of administration - it is the first duty of the government to maintain law and order. If it fails here, it has no duty to be in any other business!

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