Perhaps ‘shocking’ isn't the right word.
When a head constable of Delhi Traffic Police -- on not receiving a bribe -- throws a brick at a woman in fit of rage, the act falls more in the ‘barbaric’ rather than 'shocking' category.
The incident in the Golf Links area near India Gate which took place following an altercation between Satish Chandra, the traffic personnel, and Ramanjeet Kaur, a mother of three, over a minor incident of traffic violation and was captured on camera, needs to be treated with some sense of alarm.
The victim, who was riding a Scooty with her children, was accused of jumping the red light by Chandra. The scuffle allegedly started after the woman refused to pay a bribe of Rs 200 to the cop. She was asking him to issue a challan if she had violated traffic rules. She was pulled up by the policeman. Kaur picked up a stone in retaliation. Then she was hit with a heavy brick by the constable. Soon after the video of the incident went viral on social media, the police swung into action. The constable was arrested and dismissed from service with immediate effect.
However, this is not an isolated incident police excess. Two women were allegedly thrashed by a sub-inspector inside a police station in Rohini on April 4. They were being forced to confess a case of robbery. Earlier, a young girl was slapped at a hospital in full public view by an ACP.
What makes the police behave in such a way?
The reasons according to former top cops are: “deep rooted corruption, insensitivity, impunity and privileges enjoyed by policemen.”
“Such incidents are extremely shameful and an insult to the entire police force. The constable should be dealt with an iron hand because people like him are villains in uniform,” former Delhi Police Commissioner Ved Marwah told Firstpost.
Marwah further said Delhi needs “improved policing” to “strengthen and preserve rule of law.”
“Police reforms are the need of the hour to ensure that men in uniform uphold the Constitution and strengthen and preserve rule of law. The police have measurably failed to inspire confidence in people and as a result lost their trust. They have stopped working in the interest of the society,” he said.
The ex-top cop suggested a whole range of measures to improve the functioning of the police: orientation programme to sensitise the policemen, reducing work pressure by filling vacant posts through new appointments, fixation of working hours, improved infrastructure at police station and better housing facilities.
SR Darapuri, retired inspector general of the UP police, said such shameful incidents occur because of “deep rooted and institutionalised corruption” in the police department.
“The police enjoy a kind of impunity because the investigators of the probe agencies - be it vigilance or other anti-corruption units - at state as well as central level belong to the police department,” he said, adding the investigating agency needs to be cleaned so that complaints of misconduct against policemen can be looked into with extreme seriousness.
Strongly condemning the incident, UP ex-DGP Shri Ram Arun said policeman should be given harshest possible punishment so that it can be effective deterrent for such crimes. “Forcing people to pay for bribes is nothing but an abuse of police authority. The only solution to the problem is eradication of corruption from all levels,” he added.
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Updated Date: May 12, 2015 13:44:19 IST