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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 12.12 AM IST

Reformation of police force should begin from the top

editorial

Violations of law committed by the vey police who are in charge of enforcing the law have always been a topic of discussion. Efforts to reform the police have been going on since the country gained independence. Many commissions have been set up solely for this purpose only. There have been a number of changes over the time. However, there is no doubt that the police have yet to change much.

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) has come up with new guidelines to reform the police and make it a more pro-people force, as directed by the Union Home Ministry.

The police, who play a key role in maintaining law and order, should be the savior of the people in any crisis. Likewise, their behavior should be exemplary in all situations where they have to deal with people. It should not be forgotten that even those who commit crimes have human rights. Police officers who are reluctant to respect it are breaking the boundaries of the law.

There have been numerous suggestions from time to time from various authorities regarding the procedures to be followed by the police before arresting a person in connection with a case. The Supreme Court has provided clear guidelines in this regard. It is also suggested that they be displayed in public places for the public to read.

The BPRD has prepared and submitted to the Union Home Ministry new guidelines to prevent torture such as unlawful arrest and lockup harassment. It specifically says that arrests should not be made for trivial offenses. Arrest should be made only after giving notice. Those who refuse to appear at the station despite a notice can be arrested at the residence. Arrest cannot be avoided in more serious cases.

Do not question women and children at the station. You have to go home and ask questions. There must also be the presence of another woman. The guideline also says that senior citizens above the age of 65 should not be called to the station. Defendant must clearly state the reasons for his arrest. Another important suggestion is that the accused should be arrested only if there is a suspicion of escape.

Third degree torture should be avoided in lockups. Scientific methods must be used to prove guilt. There is a guideline that CCTV cameras should be installed in lockups and high officials should monitor them. It should be assumed that the BPRD guideline will be implemented once approved by the Center.

Steps should be taken to modernize the various stages from their training onwards along with guidelines for reforming the police. Basically, there is still a lot to change in the structure and approach of the police. They should be trained to behave politely and, even when dealing with the public.

There are a lot of people in the service who see the symbols of power as the right of human beings to supress others. Such people always bring disrepute to the police and the government. Change must always start from the top. If those exhibits an exemplary behaviour, those below will be compelled to follow that path. The cultured police force is the pride of any nation. We can hope that the police force will enter such a period.

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