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Police silence on investigative journalism- serious concern
Jamwal Mahadeep Singh9/11/2018 10:31:49 PM
Being part and parcel of police department for a long period, my heart still bleeds for the police department. While turning pages of my police association, I encounter with certain memories, when many of the police officers now sitting at the helm of affairs in sub-divisions, Districts, Ranges, and zones have started their carrier in close proximity of my association. This all happened when I was carrying police working experience of a considerable period and rendering my services as Station House Officers in different districts, in Vigilance Organization, as Commanding officer or serving in District or police training College (now Police Academy). My service carrier makes me happier when I find number of Commendation Certificates with cash reward while as NGO, countless "Appreciation letters" and 'DGP Medal'. At the same moment it also percolate into mind that how seriously supervisory officers sitting at sub-division, District, Range and at Police Headquarters used to take and react to even a small piece of information finding space in 'Newspapers' that was enough to raise a finger against the police department. Proper enquiries used to follow the procedure and if any of the police man found guilty were dealt severely to save the image of the police department. A more concerning part on the senior hierarchy was to address the grievances of the lower rung police officials as their priority towards welfare measures. As per directions from the senior hierarchy, a regular interaction was held with the retired fraternity of the police department and in addition to the welfare of the retirees a serious concern was also shown towards the family members of the retiree. These all factors were contributing towards making police department a better force and those retired from this department were a silent force and ambassadors working towards disseminating police related information in time, helping the department in prevention and detection of crime in addition to the information pertaining to situations taking ugly turns to law and order problems and in actuality were working as bridges between the civil society and police department.
What when we turn the pages of the present police system, these all measures of the past appears to be a matter of 'non-sense' for those managing Sub-Divisions, Districts, Ranges and Zones, and a person like me from the past system of police department, feel humiliated, and introspect that in actuality, what has happened to them. They are mute spectator towards many reporting in 'Newspapers' on daily basis purported to be based on investigative journalism of their reporters. The present police officers now sitting at the helm of affairs right from Sub-division to upper level have started their carrier from that era of Police working based on the principles of creating a harmonious relationship among civil society, within department and also taking retired fraternity of police on board but they appear to have shifted their attitude to a u-turn of all these necessities in the department and most neglected part is the retired fraternity and their families. Being belonging to Jammu region, I am curious reader of the news pertaining to Jammu police zone, and keep analyzing the pros and cons of these reports published by the fourth pillar of democracy in print media. Very humiliating material we find, when reports of over stepping the authority of seniors by junior rung police officers in the districts, managing of inter district and inter range levels transfers especially at the SHO levels within couple of days, indulgence of many SHOs in illegal activities of encroachments in ranges and zone reported in papers, still no action at range or zone level, is taken as connivance and shield by those supposed to take action. In this way the well known honesty of real honest officers also looses balance. As the words of honesty don't matter much their actions should speak so. A common trend we feel is the posting of local officers at the helm of affairs and this is the baby of politicians to meet their aspirations as this type of arrangement suits to both sides as politicians get their agenda implemented, they manage the posting of their choice SHO's in their jurisdiction and on their other hand these police officers keep themselves glued to the chairs by the blessings of the politicians putting their own efficiency in dust bins. A success of a police officer is not based on the period he remain glued to the chair but on the delivery and acceptance of the common man not by the politicians.
Some of the news that have been the topic of hot discussion and humiliation for police department were of a Dy.SP posted in Jammu-Kathua-Samba range on monthly pay roll of a scrap dealer, his unrequited interference in working of SHO for minting money, 'Lower rung officials misleading DGP, 'Cop manages transfer of SHO, SDPO dancing on MLA's tune, SSP speechless as he is helpless by watching all the things, 'Day after he was shifted SP Kishtwar ordered mass transfers'. All these reports were a sign of deterioration in the department and respected officers at range and zone levels were required to react on the news but nothing heard on their part speaks of their helplessness and can we term it as owing to their own political motivated postings? Keeping their eyes closed to such reporting is a matter of concern for the common man speaks of no control over the subordinate officers by those sitting at the helm of affairs at range and zone level. Generally such helpless police officers brush away such news reports by shifting their responsibility and propagating such news as resultant of having not harmonious relations with the houses running these news papers and thus fails to come out of their failures. Instead of accepting their inefficiency and admitting to the exposes by the investigating journalism of fourth pillar, the lame excuses cannot come to the rescue of these officers.
Among all disturbing news, what speaks worst in the series is the role of a District Chief reported to be posted in one of the district of Jammu region, and is carried by the fourth pillar in its print media goes as: 'SSP lets off narcotics smuggler in exchange for handsome money'. If we have to believe the story, it is just not expose of a corrupt officer heading a district but is quite contrary to the sanctity of the operation to weed out drug menace instituted by the zonal police head. The honest chase of lower rung officials leading to the arrest of drug smugglers is thwarted by these types of District Chiefs and hierarchy sitting at range and zone level should not shield them putting their own hands in fire and putting their honest image under criticism by the public. As an ex police officer, many of the police man retired have time and again been complaining of the non seriousness of some of the district heads, range as well as zonal head not to hear to the genuine and minor grievances of their family members whereas these officers lose their belts on just a phone call of some politician and they forget the valuable services rendered by this retired fraternity.
Concluding I like to suggest the present hierarchy sitting at the helm of affairs to promptly react to any news related to police department that can lower the image of police in public, already not held in good books. They are required to shed their helplessness and to come out from the political umbrella to provide solace to the civil society, retired fraternity and to devise a mechanism of quick relief to its sitting lower rung officials. Especially to those who are local, they should be all time available to redress the grievance of their people as after shedding this uniform they have to face the tune of same society that is seen by these officers from the last storey of the building and after their retirement they have to be on the ground reality.
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