BENGALURU: While the communal violence in coastal areas has raised questions about policing, senior cops assert politicking is the prime reason for communal violence. Retired as well as serving police officials say politicians’ appeasement and polarization to secure vote banks are the prime reasons for making coastal areas more volatile with communal violence.
History has shown that communal flare-ups in this region are more during the election year. Senior cops say if police are given free hand without political interference to take action to maintain law and order, everything would be in control within a month.
Former Karnataka police chief MD Singh, who has worked as superintendent of police, Karwar, and other parts of coastal Karnataka in the early part of his career, said, “This is not just today’s story. It has been happening since ages! There is a sense of intolerance created for political benefits. Politicking plays a crucial role in creating communal violence.”
“If the police are given a free hand to work within the framework of the law without interference from politicians, I am sure that within a month things would be under control. I feel the government should also do the same which would instil confidence in the police, too. The local police personnel who would know more about the people and their culture, will be the efficient to deal with such situations,” he said. Another former state police chief S T Ramesh, who has the experience of working in coastal regions, said the volatile situation over communal issues in the coastal region dates back a long way.
“It is natural for the public to expect the police to effectively prevent and detect communal incidents and murders.But it is very hard for the police to work efficiently as this violence has political overtones.The police face professional challenges in dealing with such cases as the politicians can bid their time and teach them a lesson for doing their duty,” he said.
“This is one of the ways used by politicians to polarize vote banks. The practice of securing vote banks through communal violence has to change. If only there is political reform, the situation will come under control,” he said. Asked whether the police can prevent such incidents in future, he said: “Politics that has to be reformed (first) to prevent such a situation.”
Bjp Police And Congress Police
A police officer who has served in Mangaluru and parts of Dakshina Kannada districts, requesting anonymity, said while highlighting the extent to which the police force in this region is interfered with by the political elements, that the police personnel in these areas are identified as “BJP police” or “Congress police”.With too much political interference, it has become inevitable for the police officers to stick with some group or the other to save themselves.
People within the administration name them as ‘practical’ officers. If you take action judiciously, you will have to face the worst consequences — difficult postings, framing of corruption charges or defamation . The ‘practical’ officers who are ready to compromise their ethics and duty to work in favour of one or the other political outfit/party, will survive.