Attempted mugging by cops
THE aborted mugging bid at Paltan area of the city on Tuesday by policemen who included an ASI is the latest example of custodians of law turning into not just law breakers but even as criminals who they should have been duty-bound to be catching themselves. It is the pedestrians who had to assume the unlikely and role of catching the cops-turned-muggers. Though three other accomplices of the ASI managed to make good their escape, the gang leader failed to do so, as if to further warp the public face of the police. A crime committed by any law enforcer puts a question-mark on the image of the entire law enforcing mechanism.
In the past such happenings were but rare. But now these are acquiring a frequency that must make the police bosses sit up, take note of and do whatever is needed to stem the recurrence of such incidents. These call for internal cleansing, surveillance and supervision at appropriate levels. We must not forget that upon the performance of the police hinges maintenance of law and order which holds the key to social security, peace and progress.
It is extremely important that antecedents of applicants for police jobs be closely scrutinised before accepting any one for appointment. This principle cannot be allowed to be diluted. Then the questions of instilling the right motivation in and imparting proper in-service training to the members of the police force would have to be attended to. These issues are becoming more and more relevant with some members of the police behaving like hardened criminals.
The Paltan incident is another reminder of the pressing need for police reform which will have to be fast-tracked from what is now caught up in slow motion. The much-talked about police reform agenda which, among other, lays emphasis on logistical support and structural improvements, has to take on board the issue of moral degeneration which could nullify all other steps that might be taken to enhance the law enforcers' ability to handle the crime situation and render public service.