In the wake of the Sathankulam custodial deaths of a trader and his son, which triggered a furore across the country, police officers in Vellore Range have been instructed not to effect arrests after dusk.
Moreover, to bring in greater accountability and transparency, police personnel up to the rank of inspectors have been advised to maintain a ‘pocket notebook’ recording their daily routine, which will be subject to review by superiors.
“Police personnel have been strictly told that the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution should not be infringed upon and that they should treat the public with politeness, sympathy and respect,” said N Kamini, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Vellore Range.
Talking to The New Indian Express, she said, “Police officers have been instructed not to carry out arrests after 5 pm. If it is necessary, prior permission must be taken from the concerned SPs before arresting anyone.”
Saying that police officers were told that no arrest was needed in offences punishable with seven years of imprisonment, the DIG noted that SPs would monitor the detention of persons after dusk in their respective districts.
Vellore Range consists of four districts -- Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupathur and Ranipet.
Sensitisation activities and yoga training were also being arranged for the men in khaki to bust stress and motivate them towards a humane approach.
“I have strictly instructed them not to use force in any situation. Instead, police should be polite and courteous towards the public,” Kamini stated.
Referring to transparency and accountability of police personnel, she said, “The old system of maintaining a pocket notebook recording details of daily duties, places visited, people spoken to and information collected is being brought back.”
From police constables to inspector rank, cops have to maintain a ‘pocket notebook’ which is subject to review by superior officers.
The cops were also asked not to have any ‘expectations’ from the people and traders.
Channelizing energy to increase conviction rate
While instructing the cops to avoid third degree treatment, they were told to channelize their energy towards increasing the rate of conviction.
“By concentrating on evidence collection and case strengthening, conviction can be ensured in cases. I have asked the officers to channelize their energy to increase the conviction rate,” Kamini noted.
She said through proactive measures the perception of the public can be changed.