Heed the Word


Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s statement on Tuesday at a meeting of the parliamentary consultative committee of the home ministry in New Delhi, regarding trifurcation of police in the states by creating separate cadres for investigation and prosecution, besides one for the law and order handling is noteworthy in respect of conflict ridden states of the Northeast and Jammu & Kashmir. In these states, the police force have been concentrating most of its energy towards handling law and order and counter-insurgency, while neglecting the area of crime investigation and criminal prosecution. As a direct result of which, pending cases have been piling up every month every year reaching unmanageable heights. One stark example can be the huge number of undertrial prisoners in the state jails and the long periods they had to wait for their charge-sheets to come up in the courts. Indirectly, the abnormal situation has created room for more corruption in the police force. On the other hand, public confidence in the police force has been diminishing day by day. Consequently, a vigilante culture has developed to fill in the vacuum created by the police inaction.

In the last few years in Manipur, we have been witnessing several instances of angry mobs ransacking the houses of alleged perpetrators of crimes, while the police role have been reduced to that of rescuing the alleged perpetrators from the mob. In their rescue attempt, they also have not been able to impress upon the general public that they are trying to drive home the dictum of ‘innocence until proven guilty.’ In fact, they are viewed as the protectors of criminals and not as upholders of law. This necessarily indicates that, the police force cannot extricate itself from the imagined maze of law and order and insurgency problem.

The police in Manipur have long forgotten it has an essential role to play in crime investigation and prosecution also. The strength of the state police force was substantially increased during the two consecutive terms of the O Ibobi led SPF government. The need for increasing the number of police personnel or of opening more MR/IRB battalions was emphasized by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and top security officials of the state, every time they meet the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram or top officials of the Home Ministry. Most of the time, the Home Ministry agreed and the strength of state police force including the Manipur Rifles and IRB, increased in leaps and bounds. In fact, the O Ibobi Singh government had a gala time in the recruitment spree and massive gains were made in their respective support bases. Sadly, the increase was more in the law and order front like Police Commando or IRB battalions. The crucial branches of crime investigation and prosecution were simply ignored. The recent bifurcation in the District Police set-up by creating two posts of Additional SPs each in the districts, one for handling operations and another for supervising crime investigation, could not do justice towards strengthening investigation. These days, nobody wants a posting in the police stations. The lure of the Commando Branch and its advantages in promotion and other sops is such that, anyone who has enough political backing or lakhs to spare will strive for a posting in the Commando Branch.

If the Home ministry is really serious about police reforms or revamping the investigation and prosecution branches, it should also take into account the above factors. Although law and order is a state subject, the home ministry must impress upon the states the need for strengthening the two branches while discouraging opening of more battalions for counter-insurgency operations. Enough is enough. A line has to be drawn somewhere. 


  1. That Chaoba-ji chappie was sounding like he wanted to be a bona fide newspaper man. What happened to him. So yeah Ibobi-ji had a gala time raising a private army to which you buy commissions rates starting from 3-4 lacs going up to 2 million if you want to be a junior officer. Where are the facts. We all know the stories they are never published by newspapermen because for now it’s just Chaoba-ji talking about wanting to be one day. So it is always legal to record your own conversations as I pointed out to that nice SIB Johnnie-Chappie last year. The one sent by one of those nouveau riche politico families you go on about. It is illegal to raid an office by night so any info there is useless. But rubbish belongs to anyone who wants to sift through it. Lowest grade of Newspaper man is rubbish collector. Obviously the jackpot is bank statements. If people have shredders you would be surprised what the next level of Newspaper Johnnie can do with selotape and patience. Don’t jiggle the pile they are roughly in the right order already. Now you got yourself a story and search warrant for those elusive honest coppers not owned by others. Used condoms well if the secretary was pretty you probably guessed without the DNA match. A man marries within his own family I respect it’s an Indian tradition but the kalesas too arise and fall. Oh sorry in vernacular. You can treat it as off the record info which is how you treat everything for now. Drop by the office leave her your card explain that you had an interesting chat with her boss and he can be reassured that you are always free to listen and will hold any conversation in confidence strictly etc. One day she’ll hate the man. Most of the good stuff these days comes via technology. Can’t help you there mate and most of it is still illegal. But there is a world of difference between hacking and cracking a system and if the system let you in without password and you don’t destroy or reverse engineer strong case for arguing it was already public domain. Anyone good luck with that newspapering malarkey. When I was there a Meira Paibi Ima allegedly got out of a car Sunday afternoon lobbed a hand grenade against a Muslim business surrounded by commandoes walked back into the car and drove off leaving six injured. Nobody saw anything. Do not Lie. Do not Steal. Do not Murder etc then Truth may Prevail.


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