BENGALURU: The recent incidents of attacks on policemen have come not just as a disturbing trend for men in khakhi, but even as a threat to the system of law enforcement itself. It has raised questions on whether rowdy elements have lost fear of policemen or the policemen have lost courage to tackle the goons.The New Indian Express spoke to a few policemen -- both serving and retired -- to find out that such incidents are a result of absence of strict laws for assaulting policemen on duty.
A police sub-inspector in the West division said, “Such incidents happen because even rowdies know that they can easily come out on bail within a day or two. The situation was different just a few years ago. They knew that assaulting a policeman would make their life miserable. We used to ‘work’ (term used by policemen for subjecting rowdies to physical torture) on them and they feared that pain. But now, there are many organisations in the name of human rights protection and such other groups which help rowdies, without thinking what kind of offences they have committed.”
Policemen say they feel let down by those who talk about human rights. “Human rights activists will make it a big issue when a policeman assaults a rowdy. But has anyone seen a single protest by them over attacks on policemen by rowdies? Just in the last 4-5 years, there are numerous incidents of attacks on policemen on duty. Two-three men have also lost their lives. But why don’t human rights activists speak about it?” asked a crime constable from South East division.
Retired DG&IGP S T Ramesh, however, has a different take on the issue. “Attack on police by rowdies is nothing but an act of desperation. But it is the responsibility of the first respondents — the policemen who reach the spot first — to be prepared and cautious. Only their presence of mind and courage can save them from such situations. In a city like Bengaluru witha a population of over one crore, there is also an advantage of anonymity. People think they can do anything and escape.”