To briefly recapitulate, earlier this year a State Minister manhandled two policemen in Rudraprayag who had arrested two criminals and freed them. In the second incident BJP’s Udhamsingh Nagar MLA barged into a police station and forcefully freed an arrested criminal. In August Chairman of a State Corporation publicly thrashed a traffic policeman in front of Doon Hospital, while a fortnight ago another well known BJP MLA abused a lady police officer in Dehra Dun. The latest incident on 9th September involved a top BJP State Party functionary and his son, again in Dehra Dun. One also cannot forget last year’s summary suspension of CO Kotwali, after he prevented victorious ABVP leaders from running amok in the town.
Such incidents show scant respect of law in persons who are supposed to protect the Constitution of India and also protect the lives and property of ordinary citizens of our state. Whatever be the provocation no one has a right to physically assault any government servant on duty. Such an action is made worse by repeated loud assertions by assaulting dignitaries that they are members of Uttarakhand’s ruling party, in full media glare. In US any physical assault on a policeman is taken very seriously and the assaulter is first handcuffed and then questioned.
Surprisingly, a party which takes a high moral ground in most matters has been conspicuously quiet in each of these incidents. In spite of media and public outrage no action has been taken against the involved politicians and there seems to be no attempt to prevent recurrences of such loathsome behavior. Perhaps they presume that public memory is short and by the time of next elections, such incidents will be forgotten.
Repeated episodes of police bashing in which policemen trying to enforce law are first beaten up and then suspended is diminishing the morale of Uttarakhand’s police force. Failure of the police establishment to stand up to political bullying will have untold consequences for the long term health of the State. Fighting crime would be the first causality.
The Society in general and the mature political leadership of Uttarakhand must heed public sentiment and put a stop to such arrogant display of political power. The Ashok Chakra on the belts of policemen represents the Nation of India. It must be respected, under all circumstances.
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