Set to transform its image

The law enforcers in Khakis seemingly being the saviours of those in power and not that of the common man and lodging of an FIR with the police being no less than a herculean task for the common man, the people of this state have high hopes pinned to the new Director General of Police Dr. SP Vaid who is well known for not only tough posture against the subversive elements but also for having a sympathetic attitude towards the common people. In India including the state of J&K the atrocious experience of the people at the hands of men in Khakis during British rule was expected to vanish after attaining freedom in 1947 but unfortunately what happened was absolutely dismal and contrary. The situation across the nation today is such that the language of freedom is no longer the common tongue spoken by the citizenry. “We the people” have been reduced to items of exploitation at the hands of those who are supposed to be our saviours. Lodging of an FIR with the police is no less than a herculean task for the common man and the same police takes least possible time to trace and recover the lost buffalo of a minister or the lost puppy of a celebrity and J&K is no exception to it. It is a fact that the State can touch the pinnacle of glory only if its Law enforcers perform their duty with due diligence thus ensuring peaceful environment with people having full faith in them. As per Sir Walter Lawrence, Police in J&K was constituted with 1000 village watchmen or “Chowkidars” who were known for their vigilant and inquisitorial abilities. They were mostly drawn from the “Doom” caste known for excellent detection and transmission of intelligence. It was in the year 1873 AD that formal Police force came into existence with one Police officer Known as Kotwal and 14 Thanedars for Srinagar City. Across the state the situation not only in far flung areas but even in the capital cities is far from satisfactory. The people keeping in mind the agony and trauma that generally has to be undergone while getting an FIR registered and thereafter, prefer to bear the victimization by criminal rather than approaching the men in Khakis especially in the far flung areas where the distance of the police station and absence of any transport facility further discourage even the victim from approaching the police. Despite the Police Organization in J&K continuing its spree of Police Public meetings there is no commendable change in the situation on ground. There is always a price to be paid for challenging the status quo and one must not forget that then again, the price for not challenging the status quo is even worse as it leads to outright tyranny, loss of our freedoms, and a totalitarian regime. Therefore a serious question that arises is “What can you really do when you find yourself at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to serve and protect?” The answer to the question can be found out only if the upright officers from the Khaki establishment as well as the common people’s representatives put down their heads together to do away with the mist of fear among the common people. Success cannot be claimed to have been achieved just by holding drawing room Police Public meetings and awareness camps but the common man on ground must feel safe in approaching the men in Khakis be it registration of FIR, protection against criminals or the enforcement of the legal rights. It is an established fact that Cops are in positions of power and they, like all other humans are likely to abuse it. In such a situation there is a need for immense deterrence against police misconduct. In this regard the establishment needs to take cue from the Army which has not spared those of its Jawans fighting militancy in the Valley who have abused their authority and have been awarded strict punishments through Court Martial. Nothing is unachievable and let the civil society as a whole especially the police organization and the politicians take a sincere initiative to transform the image of this most vital establishment once for all. People are quite confident that the police organization will definitely succeed in transforming its image under its new Chief who survived the deadliest attack at PHQ and best understands the pain of common man…..!