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Archive for the ‘police’ Category

Highway robbery

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NDTV reports:

A group of men allegedly armed with chains, iron rods and hockey sticks assaulted staff and looted nearly two lakh from a toll booth near Delhi on Monday night.

Shortly after 8 pm on Monday, two bikers assaulted workers at the toll plaza for commercial vehicles. Around 30 minutes later, around a dozen men arrived on a bike and in a black Scorpio with a beacon and a politician’s poster on it. They beat up the attendants, ransacked the glass booth, and grabbed Rs. 1.85 lakh in cash and left.

“They were there for a long time, we called the police immediately but they came late. These men had belts, hockey, knuckles, chains and rods,” said Ravi, a worker.

The Gurgaon police, who have been accused of not responding promptly to the SOS from the toll plaza, are yet to comment on the act of brazen lawlessness.

You might begin to wonder where the Indian state has disappeared.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

October 17, 2013 at 5:17 am

Posted in crime, police

Tagged with ,

The alertness of cops in Mumbai

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Zee News reports:

Indian Mujahideen terror group operative Afzal Usmani on Friday escaped from the police custody. Usmani fled while he was being taken to MCOCA court here from Taloja Jail along with 22 others by the Mumbai police.

He was brought to the court for a hearing in his case. A massive search operation has been launched by the police to nab the terror suspect.

Also, two policemen, who were escorting Usmani, has been suspended after the terrorist escaped from the custody. Home Ministry has asked the Mahashtra government to submit a report on how the IM suspect fled.

He is a suspect in the 2008 Ahmedabad blast case. A series of 21 bomb blasts had rocked Ahmedabad on July 26, 2008 in which 56 people were killed and over 200 were wounded. Arrested in 2008 from Uttar Pradesh, Usmani has many terror links. He is car thief who provided stolen vehicles to the operatives to carry out blasts.

IBN Live adds:

The sessions court, though a highly guarded structure, has a history of bomhomie between police escorts and the accused, a situation that has led to security lapses even in the past, but perhaps none as embarrassing as this one.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Never say never again

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Jorge Santayana wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Every now and then one comes across reminders of the grisly recent history of India, such as this reported in Hard News:

On a September morning in 1995, Jaswant Singh Khalra was washing his car outside his Amritsar home. His wife had just left for the library where she worked.

Khalra had spent the last few months perusing the cremation records of the three crematoria in Amritsar, reflecting on the vast quantities of wood that had been purchased, travelling around the countryside, speaking to families whose sons had gone missing, peering at the death and birth registries in the municipal office, meeting with doctors whose task it was to conduct post mortems at the civil hospitals, and comparing these with news reports on encounter killings. There was only one conclusion he could reach. That men, whose numbers ran into thousands, had been burnt to cinders in these cremation grounds. Their bodies sometimes piled one atop each other. Khalra’s enquiries had hardly gone unnoticed. He had been warned several times, in particular by the Tarn Taran SSP, Ajit Singh Sandhu, who had threatened to disappear him.

As he washed his car that morning, a Maruti van glided into the street, and armed commandoes of the Punjab police pulled him in. His body was never recovered.

More than two years later, SPO Kuldeep Singh gave a statement to the CBI – which had been directed by the Supreme Court to investigate Khalra’s disappearance and his findings of the dead and disappeared – that Khalra had been held secretly at the Jhabal Police station and had been interrogated at the home of SSP Sandhu by KPS Gill. Kuldeep Singh testified that Khalra was shot dead in the police station on the evening of 28th October and his body dumped in the Harike canal. The killing was followed by a night of revelry at the Irrigation department guest house. SSP Sandhu and KPS Gill were guest of honours.

Piara Singh whose Maruti van had been requisitioned for an operation by the Jhabal police station in September, testified to the CBI. Kikkar Singh, who had been held in the Jhabal Police station in late October also testified that he had been witness to Khalra’s torture at the police station.

But then, the CBI dropped its star witnesses pleading that their statements were not substantiated by material evidence. Kikkar Singh was implicated in five criminal cases. Kuldeep Singh was forced to lodge a case of bribery against Khalra’s widow.

The system worked to frustrate every move to uncover the truth. The Congress which signed the license to kill; the Akalis who promised to institute a Truth Commission into mass disappearances but reneged when they came to power; the BJP which dared anyone to touch the ‘heroes’ of the anti-insurgency ops; the CBI which let the enquiry collapse quietly; the NHRC who was tasked with uncovering the extent of mass crimes but settled for Rs one lakh each for families for 18 disappeared; the security establishment whose symbol Gill became. (Tavleen Singh was doing exactly what she is doing now: railing against “the human rights wallahs”). How they all worked together like a well-oiled machine, bound by the pact of silence. The pact of the State against its people; the pact between the political rulers and the agencies.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

July 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Notes from a court

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Tehelka follows up a report on the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case with an article on the case in court. One chilling para:

CBI produced a witness — a magistrate named Sanjay Chauhan — in court who claimed he drives 58 km every day to take a walk in the Talwars’ neighbourhood. He was there that morning, he said, and had seen blood marks on the stairs. He had also noticed that the Talwars were not crying very much.

Read the whole article. It is a beautiful piece of journalism; so closely argued that it is hard to paraphrase.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

July 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Change the police

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On September 16, 2011 India Today wrote

A deeper analysis would help establish that a professional police force, which considers itself accountable to the people of the country and gives primacy to upholding the laws of the land in all situations, is absolutely essential … Certain measures need to be taken immediately to transform what is today a Ruler’s Police into a People’s Police.

These sentences capture the two major problems with the police force that the whole country seemed to be focussed on for the last two weeks. The first was the complete lack of regard for the safety of ordinary people, leading to the brutal rape and eventual death of a young girl. The second was the use of the police to stifle public protests.

Among the sensible-sounding suggestions are to increase the number of policemen, and to make them more visible around the clock, all over the country. Delhi ADC Suman Nawla made some perfectly reasonable-sounding suggestions in an interview to NYT:

You have to look at the education level as well. A person who is recruited at the constable level is just 12 pass [a high school graduate]. He might be coming from a village on the outskirts of Delhi, or from outside Delhi. So he is carrying those values with him. He might have never seen a woman in a short skirt, so he might be quite disturbed by this. He might be ogling. So he has to be taught how to behave. It will take time for these mind-sets to change.

[Policemen] do try to justify that nothing would have happened in their area if the woman had dressed differently, or if she was not out late at night.

I think if we have strong supervisory mechanisms, these things don’t matter. I am not bothered about somebody’s personal views in any situation as long as they are working well. At the end of the day, attitudes should not be hampering investigations.

All this is not applicable to more than half of the police force. One merely has to drive in a city, or even try to report a theft to find that policemen are completely aware of the law, and also aware of the fact they themselves can break all of these laws with complete impunity. The beat police are too often sexual criminals (see [1] [2] [3] …). Nor are high police officials themselves above abetting and perhaps committing exactly this kind of sex crime (see [A] [B] [C]…) Criminality within the police force is the elephant in the room which none of the "reformers" talk about.

A reform of the police force must start with weeding out criminals within it.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

December 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Are we not a democracy?

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These are not terrorists.

These are not Naxals.

When the police beat up young boys and girls who are protesting police apathy to citizen’s safety, when a minister of state in the home ministry believes that the brutal action is justified, when the police shoots dead a journalist covering the protests, then whose state is it?

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

December 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

The S is not for security

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If you believe that much of the security we are subjected to is meaningless, then you are right, says IE:

Making a mockery of security, a 42-year-old woman posed as a senior scientist, flaunted a fake identity card and spent two nights at an Isro guest house in Bangalore. She also managed to enter the institution’s headquarters on New BEL Road but that’s when her game was up.

Security personnel at Antariksh Bhavan, Isro headquarters, detected Buela M Sam’s identity card to be fake. She was arrested on Sunday. Buela, who is from Kerala and currently lives in Ahmedabad, was remanded in judicial custody till October 6.

She’s a mother of two medical students and the wife of Alex Thomas, a high school teacher in Ahmedabad. As she was making contradictory statements, the police contacted Alex, who said his wife suffered from depression and would go missing from their house at regular intervals.

Security is usually alert when it is convinced of the need. If someone thinks that the ISRO guest house and headquarters need to be secured, then they should convince at least the security apparatus. Otherwise, like the guardians, we too remain a little sceptical of the need for security.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Posted in India, police

Tagged with , ,

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