RAIPUR: With rise in complaints against police personnel in Chhattisgarh, the demand for reforms to improve police-public bond in the insurgency hit-state has been gaining ground.
"The relationship between police and people can never be so friendly. However, certain reforms are needed to be made in policing as well as laws to develop a positive police-people relation," Gautam Bandopadhyay, a civil rights activist, told PTI.
As per a recent data released by NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), Chhattisgarh witnessed 1,960 complaints (of various nature) against its police personnel last year and had reported 1,918 complaints in 2012.
The state holds the seventh position in complaints lodged against its police personnel in 2013, trailing Madhya Pradesh (9,297), Maharashtra (7,280), Uttar Pradesh (4,086), Punjab (3,468) and Rajasthan (3,252) and Kerala (3,116).
Notably, the state has been ranked at the top position jointly with Uttar Pradesh in the conviction of police personnel in different cases.
"The government should look upon it seriously, as the figure which is available with NCRB is borrowed from police manual. There may be several such instances in remote areas which are not reported," Bandopadhyay said.
As many as nine police personnel were convicted in both Chhattisgarh and UP last year, followed by Maharashtra (7), Punjab and Madhya Pradesh (5) and Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh (4), as per the NCRB data.
Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan convener Alok Shukla also says that there is a strong need to bring changes in the policing concept, to establish a good understanding between the law enforcement body and the common man.
"Increasing cases against police personnel does not reflect a good picture of policing in the state," Shukla said.
"Since post independence we have been following the laws laid down by Britishers. We have to bring changes in the entire concept, then only the law enforcement body would be able to maintain a good understanding with people," he said.
As per NCRB data, a departmental inquiry was instituted against policemen in 702 cases, magisterial probe was initiated in 94 and judicial enquiry in four in the state last year. However, 1,532 complaints were found false or unsubstantiated, the data said.
Subsequently, disciplinary action was initiated against 263 police personnel and 53 were dismissed from service during 2013. Thirty eight personnel were reported for departmental action and 117 were sent up for the trial.
Major punishments were awarded to 47 personnel while minor punishments to 135 in 2013, according to NCRB data.
Trials were completed in 203 cases, 54 cases were withdrawn or disposed of, while nine personnel were convicted and six acquitted, it mentioned.
When sought comment on the issue, a senior state police official said it is already evident from the NCRB record that a large number of such cases was found false and baseless after inquiry.
"In spite of that, we constantly make efforts to win the confidence of people, especially in the conflict zone, and improve the police-people relation," he said.