Broken System: Dysfunction, Abuse and Impunity in the Indian Police

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Sridhar, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    India: Overhaul Abusive, Failing Police System


    Disrepair of Police Forces and Lack of Accountability Contribute to Rights Violations

    August 4, 2009

    [​IMG]
    Mumbai police officers stand on a roughly made watchtower near the Gateway of India monument on New Year’s Eve, 2008.

    © 2008 Getty Images
    Related Materials:
    Broken System

    India is modernizing rapidly, but the police continue to use their old methods: abuse and threats. It’s time for the government to stop talking about reform and fix the system.
    Brad Adams, Asia director

    (Bangalore) - The Indian government should take major steps to overhaul a policing system that facilitates and even encourages human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. For decades, successive governments have failed to deliver on promises to hold the police accountable for abuses and to build professional, rights-respecting police forces.
    The 118-page report, "Broken System: Dysfunction, Abuse and Impunity in the Indian Police," documents a range of human rights violations committed by police, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and extrajudicial killings. The report is based on interviews with more than 80 police officers of varying ranks, 60 victims of police abuses, and numerous discussions with experts and civil society activists. It documents the failings of state police forces that operate outside the law, lack sufficient ethical and professional standards, are overstretched and outmatched by criminal elements, and unable to cope with increasing demands and public expectations. Field research was conducted in 19 police stations in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, and the capital, Delhi.
    "India is modernizing rapidly, but the police continue to use their old methods: abuse and threats," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "It's time for the government to stop talking about reform and fix the system."
    A fruit vendor in Varanasi described how police tortured him to extract confessions to multiple, unrelated false charges:
    "[M]y hands and legs were tied; a wooden stick was passed through my legs. They started beating me badly on the legs with lathis (batons) and kicking me. They were saying, ‘You must name all the members of the 13-person gang.' They beat me until I was crying and shouting for help. When I was almost fainting, they stopped the beating. A constable said, ‘With this kind of a beating, a ghost would run away. Why won't you tell me what I want to know?' Then they turned me upside down... They poured water from a plastic jug into my mouth and nose, and I fainted."
    Please click here to read additional accounts from victims of police abuse.
    Several police officers admitted to Human Rights Watch that they routinely committed abuses. One officer said that he had been ordered to commit an "encounter killing," as the practice of taking into custody and extra-judicially executing an individual is commonly known. "I am looking for my target," the officer said. "I will eliminate him. ... I fear being put in jail, but if I don't do it, I'll lose my position."
    Almost every police officer interviewed by Human Rights Watch was aware of the boundaries of the law, but many believed that unlawful methods, including illegal detention and torture, were necessary tactics of crime investigation and law enforcement.
    The Indian government elected in May has promised to pursue police reforms actively. Human Rights Watch said that a critical step is to ensure that police officers who commit human rights violations, regardless of rank, will face appropriate punishment.
    "Police who commit or order torture and other abuses need to be treated as the criminals they are," said Adams. "There shouldn't be one standard for police who violate the law and another for average citizens."
    Human Rights Watch also said that while not excusing abuses, abysmal conditions for police officers contribute to violations. Low-ranking officers often work in difficult conditions. They are required to be on-call 24 hours a day, every day. Instead of shifts, many work long hours, sometimes living in tents or filthy barracks at the police station. Many are separated from their families for long stretches of time. They often lack necessary equipment, including vehicles, mobile phones, investigative tools and even paper on which to record complaints and make notes.
    Police officers told Human Rights Watch that they used "short-cuts" to cope with overwhelming workloads and insufficient resources. For instance, they described how they or others cut caseloads by refusing to register crime complaints. Many officers described facing unrealistic pressure from their superiors to solve cases quickly. Receiving little or no encouragement to collect forensic evidence and witness statements, tactics considered time-consuming, they instead held suspects illegally and coerced them to confess, frequently using torture and ill-treatment.
    "Conditions and incentives for police officers need to change," Adams said. "Officers should not be put into a position where they think they have to turn to abuse to meet superiors' demands, or obey orders to abuse. Instead they should be given the resources, training, equipment, and encouragement to act professionally and ethically."
    "Broken System" also documents the particular vulnerability to police abuse of traditionally marginalized groups in India. They include the poor, women, Dalits (so-called "untouchables"), and religious and sexual minorities. Police often fail to investigate crimes against them because of discrimination, the victims' inability to pay bribes, or their lack of social status or political connections. Members of these groups are also more vulnerable to arbitrary arrest and torture, especially meted out by police as punishment for alleged crimes.
    Colonial-era police laws enable state and local politicians to interfere routinely in police operations, sometimes directing police officers to drop investigations against people with political connections, including known criminals, and to harass or file false charges against political opponents. These practices corrode public confidence.
    In 2006, a landmark Supreme Court judgment mandated reform of police laws. But the central government and most state governments have either significantly or completely failed to implement the court's order, suggesting that officials have yet to accept the urgency of comprehensive police reform, including the need to hold police accountable for human rights violations.
    "India's status as the world's largest democracy is undermined by a police force that thinks it is above the law," said Adams. "It's a vicious cycle. Indians avoid contact with the police out of fear. So crimes go unreported and unpunished, and the police can't get the cooperation they need from the public to prevent and solve crimes."
    "Broken System" sets out detailed recommendations for police reform drawn from studies by government commissions, former Indian police, and Indian groups. Among the major recommendations are:

    • Require the police to read suspects their rights upon arrest or any detention, which will increase institutional acceptance of these safeguards;
    • Exclude from court any evidence police obtain by using torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in suspect interrogations;
    • Bolster independent investigations into complaints of police abuse and misconduct through national and state human rights commissions and police complaints authorities; and
    • Improve training and equipment, including strengthening the crime-investigation curriculum at police academies, training low-ranking officers to assist in crime investigations, and providing basic forensic equipment to every police officer.
    Selected Accounts from ‘Broken System'
    "She was kept in the police station all night. In the morning, when we went to meet her, they said she had killed herself. They showed us her body, where she was hanging from a tree inside the police station. The branch was so low, it is impossible that she hanged herself from it. Her feet were clean, although there was wet mud all around and she would have walked through it to reach the tree. It is obvious that the police killed her and then pretended she had committed suicide."
    - Brother-in-law of Gita Pasi, describing her death in police custody in Uttar Pradesh in August 2006
    "We have no time to think, no time to sleep. I tell my men that a victim will only come to the police station because we can give him justice, so we should not beat him with a stick. But often the men are tired and irritable and mistakes take place."
    - Gangaram Azad, a sub-inspector who heads a rural police station in Uttar Pradesh state
    "They say, ‘investigate within 24 hours,' but they never care about how I will do [that]; what are the resources. ... There is use of force in sensational cases because we are not equipped with scientific methods. What remains with us? A sense of panic surrounds our mind that if we don't come to a conclusion we will be suspended or face punishment. We are bound to fulfill the case, we must cover the facts in any way."
    - Subinspector working near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
    "Often, it is our superiors who ask us to do wrong things. It is hard for us to resist. I remember, one time, my officer had asked me to beat up someone. I said that the man would be refused bail and would rot in jail and that was enough punishment. But that made my officer angry."
    - Constable in Uttar Pradesh
    "With all the mental stress, the 24-hour law-and-order duty, the political pressure, a person may turn to violence. How much can a person take? ... We have to keep watch on an accused person, their human rights, but what about us? Living like this 24 hours. We are not claiming that our power makes us born to work all the times. Sometimes we beat or detain illegally, because our working conditions, our facilities are bad. So we are contributing to creating criminals, militants."
    - Inspector in charge of a police station in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh



    India: Overhaul Abusive, Failing Police System | Human Rights Watch
     
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  3. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Indian police culture breeds brutality: report
    (AFP) – 1 hour ago
    BANGALORE, India — Poor working conditions and a culture of impunity encourage Indian police to commit human rights abuses to cope with an excessive workload, a report said Tuesday.
    Human Rights Watch said it had interviewed officers who admitted to illegally detaining and torturing suspects, fabricating charges and refusing to register new complaints because of pressure to clear a backlog of cases.
    Insufficient resources such as mobile phones, vehicles and forensic equipment also forced many officers to resort to "shortcuts," said the report titled "Broken System: Dysfunction, Abuse and Impunity in the Indian Police."
    Several anonymous officers spoke about committing "encounter killings" -- killing a suspect and then claiming the victim died after initiating a shootout -- in an attempt to boost their performance rates.
    "Police who commit or order torture and other abuses need to be treated as the criminals they are," said Brad Adams, HRW's Asia director.
    Low-ranking officers -- who comprise 85 percent of the Indian police -- often work long hours and live in cramped quarters far from their families.
    Most of them are not trained to handle complex criminal investigations.
    The report said marginalised groups such as religious and sexual minorities, women, lower-caste and poor Indians were vulnerable to police abuse as they lack the money or political connections to defend themselves.
    The report recommended properly investigating and penalising authorities who violate rights and improving working and living conditions which "contribute to the abusive patterns of behaviour".
    "They should be given the resources, training, equipment and encouragement to act professionally and ethically," said Adams.
    He also urged the government to repeal laws that shield police from prosecution for actions conducted while on "official duty".
    "Indians avoid contact with the police out of fear," he said. "So crimes go unreported and unpunished, and the police can't get the cooperation they need from the public to prevent and solve crimes."


    AFP: Indian police culture breeds brutality: report
     
  4. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Some of the crime stories i heard, i'm glad our cops are bad as the crooks.
    Without adequate pay and good working conditions the police can only be expected to improvise whatever means they can think of to bring justice.Without them the cops cannot hope use cool heads when dealing with the kind of criminals we have in India.
     
  5. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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  6. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    yes this is the truth...The higher officials succumb to pressure from the politicians and the lower officials are the place where these higher officials vent out their anger at.
     
  7. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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  8. Sridhar

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    Indian police accused of abuses


    [​IMG] The police are often a law unto themselves, say campaigners

    Police in India are guilty of widespread human rights violations, including beatings, torture and illegal killings, a new report alleges.
    The US-based group Human Rights Watch says India's policing system facilitates and even encourages abuses.
    It says there has been little change in attitudes, training or equipment since the police was formed in colonial times with the aim to control the population.
    It says the government must take major steps to overhaul a failing system.
    There was no immediate response from the Indian authorities.
    'Shocking'
    The BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Delhi says the catalogue of abuses by India's police detailed in this report is long and shocking - arbitrary arrests, beatings and torture to force confessions, even the cold-blooded gunning down of innocent people.
    "[M]y hands and legs were tied; a wooden stick was passed through my legs. They started beating me badly on the legs with lathis [batons] and kicking me," the report quoted a fruit vendor in the city of Varanasi as saying.
    "They beat me until I was crying and shouting for help. When I was almost fainting, they stopped the beating... Then they turned me upside down... They poured water from a plastic jug into my mouth and nose, and I fainted," he said.
    [​IMG] Human Rights Watch says it spoke to 80 police officers

    Human Rights Watch spent a year investigating claims of human rights violations to compile the 118-page report, entitled "Broken System: Dysfunction, Abuse and Impunity in the Indian Police".
    It says the report is based on interviews with more than 80 police officers of varying ranks, 60 victims of police abuses and numerous discussions with experts and civil society activists.
    The report says that "abysmal conditions for police officers contribute to violations".
    Ill-equipped and under pressure to fight crime, police officers often take the law into their own hands, it says.
    "Low-ranking officers often work in difficult conditions. They are required to be on-call 24 hours a day, every day. Instead of shifts, many work long hours, sometimes living in tents or filthy barracks at the police station.
    "Many are separated from their families for long stretches of time. They often lack necessary equipment, including vehicles, mobile phones, investigative tools and even paper on which to record complaints and make notes."
    Human Rights Watch says that as India has modernised fast, its police have been left behind.
    "India is modernising rapidly, but the police continue to use their old methods: abuse and threats," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
    "It's time for the government to stop talking about reform and fix the system."
    The authorities require a major overhaul - otherwise the beatings, torture and illegal killings will continue to stain India's democracy, the report adds.



    BBC NEWS | South Asia | Indian police accused of abuses
     
  9. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    India’s ‘Colonial’ Police Weaken Rule of Law, Rights Groups Say
    Share | Email | Print | A A A


    By James Rupert
    [​IMG]

    Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- India’s 1 million police work in “abysmal conditions” and rely on torture in a corrupt system created by British colonial rulers that undermines law and security, according to the advocacy group Human Rights Watch.
    “While India rightly touts itself as an emerging economic powerhouse that is also the world’s largest democracy, its police” forces are “widely regarded within India as lawless, abusive and ineffective,” the New York-based group said in a 118-page report released today.
    Senior police officers “are condoning and ordering the illegal arrest, torture and even killing of suspects,” said Naureen Shah, a U.S. lawyer and researcher who wrote the report. Officers kill suspects in “false encounters,” reporting the deaths as the result of spontaneous gun battles, Shah said.
    “Police are overworked and demoralized and feel they have no other way of doing the work,” Shah said in an interview.
    India’s Home Ministry, which supervises police affairs, will comment on the report “in due course, after it has been reviewed,” said Ravinder Singh, a ministry press officer.
    Similar issues face Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, according to a study by the New Delhi-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. Each country’s police force was founded by the British Empire “to subjugate very large and hostile indigenous populations,” and the “governments have largely retained this colonial structure” to better keep power, according to a study set to be released formally on Aug. 12.
    Popular Trust
    With India, Pakistan and Bangladesh facing ethnic insurgencies, violent Islamic militants or both, there can be no effective counter-insurgency “without a police force that people trust,” said Sanjay Patil, author of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative report.
    While international donors and domestic civil liberties groups push changes to make police more independent and professional, “reform efforts have been stymied by local government administrators and political parties, who use the police to enhance their own power and are reluctant to give up that control,” Patil said in a phone interview.
    India is short of police, deploying an officer for every 1,037 residents, compared with a global average of one per 333 citizens, said the Human Rights Watch report. Ill-trained officers typically are on call 24 hours, sleeping in dormitories short of beds or toilets, it said, citing interviews with 80 police and scores of other people over a year. They often work without vehicles and armed with World War I-era guns, it said.
    Personal Servants
    Low-ranking officers routinely are assigned as personal servants to seniors. As many as a quarter of officers in the capital, New Delhi, have been assigned this year as escorts to politicians, business or entertainment figures, the report said.
    About 90 percent of India’s police are low-ranking constables who “get practically no training other than physical exercises and polishing of boots,” said Shah. “They are not even trained or authorized to secure a crime scene.”
    “Violent abuse is the main investigating tactic” and criminal cases “are based almost completely on confessions,” Shah said. Physical evidence is often tampered with or accidentally contaminated, and then dismissed by judges.
    About 90 percent of India’s criminal trials result in acquittal, Vice President Hamid Ansari said in an April speech.
    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose government won re- election in May, has promised broad reforms, but India’s police are controlled mainly by the country’s 28 states and seven territorial governments.
    British-Era Laws
    India governs law enforcement under the Police Act of 1861 introduced by British colonial rulers. Since 1979, four Indian government commissions have recommended new laws, and the Supreme Court in 2006 ordered that independent commissions, rather than politicians, appoint and promote police.
    Public pressure and the Supreme Court order have brought “a few changes over the years, but they have been piecemeal, ad hoc and inadequate,” said B.G. Verghese, chairman of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.



    India?s ?Colonial? Police Weaken Rule of Law, Rights Groups Say - Bloomberg.com
     
  10. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Abusive and Abused


    By NAUREEN SHAH
    Published: August 3, 2009
    BANGALORE, INDIA — The Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” starts with a shock: Policemen hook the young protagonist Jamil up to a car battery to try to force him to confess to a crime he did not commit. Jamil soon gets a reprieve, as an inspector sits him down and lets him explain how he knew the answers to those million-rupee trivia questions.
    Though the film earned accolades in Hollywood, it unleashed a firestorm of criticism in India for its gruesome portrayal of poverty, which some called one-dimensional. But few critics in India — if anyone at all — disputed the film’s depiction of police torture: It is a harsh and undeniable reality. Across India, police torture is commonplace. Police officers consider torture a necessary tool to punish criminals or elicit confessions, whether true or false. For decades, successive governments have failed to deliver on promises to hold the police accountable for abuses and to build professional, rights-respecting police forces.
    During recent interviews — over plates of English-style biscuits and cups of over-sugared tea — some police officers opened up with what seemed a keen desire to be understood. One told me he was exploited by superiors who demanded unrealistically that he solve cases quickly while cramming his work schedule with patrols and V.I.P. escort duties. Complaining that he had neither the training nor the equipment to use scientific investigation techniques, he admitted that he had beaten suspects to extract confessions.
    He also told me he had recently been ordered to commit a fake “encounter killing.” It is a common practice for the police to secretly execute a suspect, then claim the victim died after initiating a shoot-out. This happens so often that all Indians know the term “encounter.”
    “I am looking for my target,” the officer told me. “I will eliminate him. ... I fear being put in jail, but if I don’t do it, I’ll lose my position.”
    Most of the police officers I met did not resemble cinematic villains. They were often haggard men and women who work long hours with little time off to see their families or get a full night’s sleep. Many said they often lack basic equipment — vehicles to get to a crime scene or witness interview, tools to gather evidence, and even paper on which to write reports.
    Though India’s police forces battle many pressing problems — including terrorism, organized crime and religious and caste violence — they are in a serious state of disrepair. Many problems stem from under-staffing, with just one civil police officer for every 1,037 Indian residents, about half Asia’s regional average and less than a third of the global average of one officer per 333 people.
    Police station chiefs told me they knew their officers, embittered and exhausted, sometimes took out their anger violently on the public. Many of the more than 60 lower-ranking officers interviewed for a new Human Rights Watch report said their superiors expected them or ordered them to torture suspects. The pressure to resolve cases is intense, even if it means arresting and torturing an innocent person.
    The police use escalating levels of violent crime and the acquittal rate — at about 90 percent, one of the world’s highest — to justify these abuses. But vigilante-style justice is an archaic and ineffective practice for a country reaching for modernity. It also undermines India’s status as the world’s largest democracy.
    The government knows this. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made a commitment to take on police reform in an “urgent and serious manner.” But as our research has shown, reform requires strong measures, including sending abusive police officers to prison, dismissing those who allow abuses to take place, and setting up independent and powerful police review commissions. Only decisive and sustained action will send a clear signal across the police ranks that torture and killing are never acceptable.
    At the same time, the government needs to overhaul a broken system. It needs to treat the police as people with rights, too. Officers need the time, training and equipment necessary to develop professional, rights-respecting policing tactics. They need time off, decent housing and incentives to behave properly. A system that does not provide these resources effectively discourages the police from changing their deeply rooted, abusive patterns of behavior.
    Reform will not be easy, but it is the only way to transform India’s police forces into the kind of institution that Indians respect instead of fear.
    Naureen Shah is a Leonard H. Sandler fellow at Human Rights Watch

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/opinion/04iht-edshah.html
     
  11. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    I am frankly shocked at this statement.
    You are glad our cops are as bad as our crooks? Would you say the same if they pick you or someone close to you for a little chat with the thanedar?
     
  12. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    What is this thread about ?

    For the most part its a one sided account and whats more the solutions they offer are typical of the self righteous rights groups,dishing out fancy solutions mostly bereft any deference to ground realities.

    unfortunately a good part of this world lives outside those ivory towers.
     
  13. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    SATA,

    Unfortunately a good part of the this world also gets harrassed on a daily basis by the police.

    The fact remains that the Indian Police are still governed by the age old Police Act of 1861. Even the PM has openly admitted that the current laws are oppressive and not suitable to a democracy.

    The reforms suggested by the Supreme Court have not been carried out, even though the Home Ministry had come out with a draft Model Police Act 2006, and some states have adapted it to xcome out with their own versions. some states have come out with draft versions

    Even though these new drafts have been critiqued as not having gone far enough, you should be able to see for yourself how clearly they are different from the existing Act

    Excerpt of the Police Act of 1861, Preamble:
    Contrast this with the draft Kerala Police Act of 2007
    Excerpt:

    A huge difference in the very question of existence of the police force.

    Of course, it is also important to note that there are several other laws, acts, rules, regulations and manuals that together make the police function the way they do. This would include the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Indian Evidence Act, special acts such as Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Control of Organized Crimes Act (COCA) in Maharashtra, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities ) Act, special Police Regulations (e.g. PRB in West Bengal) and Police Manuals (e.g. Tamil Nadu) and so on and so forth.

    A comprehensive reform of all of these are necessary to bring the police to the 21st cebtury.

    And then there is the question of proper funding, recruiting, training and equipment. It is, in all, a fairly herculean task.
     
  14. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    Critique of the Model Police Act 2006

    For all who are interested, here is a critique of the Model Police Act 2006. framed by the Home Ministry. I am not ashamed to say that I referenced it liberally in the post above:

    Comments on the Model Police Act 2006
     
  15. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    I don't really care if you're shocked or not
    Whether they pick me or someone else doesn't really matter.The poor working conditions and the low pay coupled with dealing with kind of criminals we get here ensures that the cops are not expected to be light-handed whether it's a petty pick-pocket or a murderer.
     
  16. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    Maybe, but that doesn't change the fact that a nation of a billion people which wishes to project an image of power and influence has a shameful and decrepit law and order system.

    For whatever reasons, certain societal organizational mechanisms (which we in the west take for granted) simply haven't taken hold in India and as a consequence the entire society has paid the price for it.

    If India wishes to change, it must address this fundamental problem aggressively, and the first step is to bring this debate into the public sphere.
     
  17. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    Oh yeah???

    Low working condition is an excuse for abuse?? Well, don't join the force then:(:)(:)((

    What if the guy they pick is not a petty pick pocket or a murderer? What if he is just another guy on the street whom they "think" is someone they are looking for, so they can get a "confession"? Have you actually seen police brutality? I have seen, some of my own relatives are in the force, and what I have seen ain't pretty
     
  18. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Calm down

    Don't join the force?I'm sorry if i've given you the impression i'm interested in joining the IPS.

    For someone who has relatives in the force you are seriously mis-informed about the kind of criminals here.Getting a confession forcibly sound like something a criminal would allege in a court of law to get off the hook.
    The articles provide only allegations by human right groups who'd ignore the ground reality in their quest for enforcing human rights
    Frankly regardless of any abuses of power and your desire for such ,the police system here is best suited for India.I wouldn't want my security to be in the hands of saints.

    And yes i do have friends in the force.
     
  19. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    India’s ‘Colonial’ Police Weaken Rule of Law, Rights Groups Say

    India’s ‘Colonial’ Police Weaken Rule of Law, Rights Groups Say


    Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- India’s 1 million police work in “abysmal conditions” and rely on torture in a corrupt system created by British colonial rulers that undermines law and security, according to the advocacy group Human Rights Watch.

    “While India rightly touts itself as an emerging economic powerhouse that is also the world’s largest democracy, its police” forces are “widely regarded within India as lawless, abusive and ineffective,” the New York-based group said in a 118-page report released today.

    Senior police officers “are condoning and ordering the illegal arrest, torture and even killing of suspects,” said Naureen Shah, a U.S. lawyer and researcher who wrote the report. Officers kill suspects in “false encounters,” reporting the deaths as the result of spontaneous gun battles, Shah said.

    “Police are overworked and demoralized and feel they have no other way of doing the work,” Shah said in an interview.

    India’s Home Ministry, which supervises police affairs, will comment on the report “in due course, after it has been reviewed,” said Ravinder Singh, a ministry press officer.

    Similar issues face Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, according to a study by the New Delhi-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. Each country’s police force was founded by the British Empire “to subjugate very large and hostile indigenous populations,” and the “governments have largely retained this colonial structure” to better keep power, according to a study set to be released formally on Aug. 12.

    Popular Trust

    With India, Pakistan and Bangladesh facing ethnic insurgencies, violent Islamic militants or both, there can be no effective counter-insurgency “without a police force that people trust,” said Sanjay Patil, author of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative report.

    While international donors and domestic civil liberties groups push changes to make police more independent and professional, “reform efforts have been stymied by local government administrators and political parties, who use the police to enhance their own power and are reluctant to give up that control,” Patil said in a phone interview.

    India is short of police, deploying an officer for every 1,037 residents, compared with a global average of one per 333 citizens, said the Human Rights Watch report. Ill-trained officers typically are on call 24 hours, sleeping in dormitories short of beds or toilets, it said, citing interviews with 80 police and scores of other people over a year. They often work without vehicles and armed with World War I-era guns, it said.

    Personal Servants

    Low-ranking officers routinely are assigned as personal servants to seniors. As many as a quarter of officers in the capital, New Delhi, have been assigned this year as escorts to politicians, business or entertainment figures, the report said.

    About 90 percent of India’s police are low-ranking constables who “get practically no training other than physical exercises and polishing of boots,” said Shah. “They are not even trained or authorized to secure a crime scene.”

    “Violent abuse is the main investigating tactic” and criminal cases “are based almost completely on confessions,” Shah said. Physical evidence is often tampered with or accidentally contaminated, and then dismissed by judges.

    About 90 percent of India’s criminal trials result in acquittal, Vice President Hamid Ansari said in an April speech.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose government won re- election in May, has promised broad reforms, but India’s police are controlled mainly by the country’s 28 states and seven territorial governments.

    British-Era Laws

    India governs law enforcement under the Police Act of 1861 introduced by British colonial rulers. Since 1979, four Indian government commissions have recommended new laws, and the Supreme Court in 2006 ordered that independent commissions, rather than politicians, appoint and promote police.

    Public pressure and the Supreme Court order have brought “a few changes over the years, but they have been piecemeal, ad hoc and inadequate,” said B.G. Verghese, chairman of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

    India?s ?Colonial? Police Weaken Rule of Law, Rights Groups Say - Bloomberg.com
     
  20. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    That was a a general comment, not directed at you. A way to make a point, if you will

    I have heard of at least one custodial death, right in the PS where one my acquaintances was working. Cause? He would not reveal the names of his buddies becuase he wanted to protect his family. So the Sub Inspector and OC got to work on him. So please don't give me that allegation thing.

    You migth say that he got his just due because he was a criminal. Well, if you do, you clearly have no understanding or respect for the law of the land, which requires certain procedures even when dealing with society's scum.

    I have heard of countless other such cases from my dad, who works in the public prosecutor's office.

    And you base that on what exactly? Your feelings?

    The current police laws are antiquated. The force itself is ill-trained, ill-equipped and too easily influenced by political interferences. Some of the main components of the suggested Police reform aims at removing the authority that politicians have on the Force, at all levels.

    So you are basing your security on a poorly trained constable with a lathi, who anyway can't do jack about political thugs and their ilk? Yeah, good luck
     
  21. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Any sources besides your dad?

    No i base that on what is required of the Indian police force even when they're so poorly equipped.You think it's easy to be expected to be ready for most of the day,to be ready to fight terror,to not be provided basic amenities and equipment?And still be ready to face down everyone form petty criminals to local thigs and if required terrorists.
    I'd like to know one country where political interference in the police services in not a reality.

    Can't do jack about political thugs?I could provide you links about the number of thugs killed by the police and the number of police officers who died to doing it.
     

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