Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 14 July 2024 9.17 AM IST

Police and twelfth circular on decent behaviour! 


After reading the very important circular that the state police chief sent to the SHOs of every police station in Kerala, one will be left wondering if one should laugh or cry. The gist of the circular is, 'Since it is time for assembly meeting, the police should treat the public with respect'. That is, if the police detain someone unnecessarily, if they speak threateningly to those who come to the stations with complaints, or if they drive away the passers-by in the name of VIP escort or something else, the opposition will bring it up in the assembly to criticise the government. Hence the state police chief wants the police to exercise self-restraint at least until the end of the assembly session. What about the police behaviour after the assembly session?

Isn't the state police chief's action of sending this special circular tantamount to admitting that there is a serious flaw in the behaviour of the police towards the public at present? It is said that eleven circulars have been issued so far during the tenure of various police chiefs reminding the same issue. As if that was not enough, the High Court itself has spoken harshly about the unnecessary arrogance and the barbarity of the police officers in the middle of hearing and trial of many cases in which the policemen were accused. Not even ten days have passed since the High Court recently raised a similar criticism against the police. The court said this in a case against a police officer who had disrespectfully treated a lawyer who came to Alathur police station in Palakkad district with a complaint. The court went on to say that the police should not think that the people will tolerate such arrogance all the time.

The state police chief was forced to release the twelfth circular on decent behaviour as he might be convinced that our police force will not improve by such criticisms. However, any common man can understand the problem in the state police chief's instruction that 'police should not behave in such a way as to bring contempt on the government'. Is the embarrassment to the state government the main issue here? Is the inhumanity that often occurs in the behaviour of the police, the violation of human rights, the injustice, and the partiality shown by some officials not a matter of concern for the government? That realization should come first to the government. Then, every police officer will understand—without the need for a circular—that misconduct of any kind will not be accepted within the force.

Meanwhile, one should not forget that severe action is taken against the police officers who are found guilty of making serious lapses in investigation, illicit association with gangsters and misbehaving with people. The action of transferring the City Police Commissioner, who was accused of making a mess of Thrissur Pooram by imposing unnecessary restrictions, as soon as the election code of conduct was withdrawn, is such a model step. The incident, which took place during the Lok Sabha election campaign, had politically backfired for the ruling party in Thrissur. The behaviour of the police towards any ordinary people at any time should be dignified, the intervention should be humane, and the language should be polite. There should be no relationship between the duration of the legislative session and the behaviour of the police.

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