Police reforms brook no delay

V ESHWAR ANANDís article, ďReforming the police: States canít dilute apex courtís directivesĒ (Jan 2), is timely. Since the Police Act of 1861, which was meant to serve the colonial rulers, successive governments have not made any serious attempt to improve the functioning of the police. The reports submitted by many committees are gathering dust.

Today, the big nexus of politicians and the police rules the roost in the name of maintaining law and order. This nexus is continuing for each otherís benefit and hence there is reluctance in implementing the directives. With the change of government, the DGP and hundreds of officers down the line are shuffled.

While the newcomers remain loyal to the political masters, the remaining lot remains demoralised and dispirited with no pride in the profession which is the key to excellence. This is a spoiled system. Barring a few cases, the police mindset has not changed and they act ruthlessly.

The Supreme Courtís directives to set up police complaint authorities, institutionalise top officialsí appointment through a state selection committee and so on are timely. The complaints authority will make the police aware of their duties towards the people. The directive for DGPís selection by the UPSC with a two-year fixed tenure should be implemented in toto.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh



I endorse the suggestion for a two-year tenure of all police officers from the rank of SHO to DGP. Otherwise, they wonít be able to do justice to their work. Following the Supreme Courtís rejection of some state governmentsí review petitions, the states will have to fall in line and implement the directives on police reforms in toto.

The Centre has already introduced the two-year tenure norm for some key posts like the Union Home Secretary, Defence Secretary and Directors of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing. Earlier, the Centre introduced the same norm for all District Collectors and Deputy Commissioners. The Cabinet Secretary to the Government of India has been enjoying a two-year tenure for quite some time.



My association with community policing in Himachal Pradesh for many years has given me adequate knowledge about the police functioning. While most policemen have proved their honesty, the rest proved their loyalty to the political bosses. From policemen to the DGPs, some have minted money and became very rich. I admit, however, that this can neither be proved nor hidden from the public gaze.

Whenever the people raise a hue and cry, the government transfers or suspends the corrupt and recalcitrant policemen, only to be reinstated later. I doubt when Parliament will pass the Model Police Bill. Surely, the political leadership simple doesnít want to lose its hold over the police, but they have no alternative now than to implement the courtís order.

If the Centre is keen on streamlining the police, the people, too, should be involved in assessing the performance of the police. From the ASI to the SP rank officers, the peopleís opinion should be recorded in a column of the officersí annual confidential reports.


Help the disabled

The Centre and the states are not doing enough for the welfare of the disabled. Section 33 of the Disability Act, 1995 provides for 3 per cent reservation for the disabled in government jobs and Section 41 gives 5 per cent job reservation in the private sector, especially in the firms enjoying the government incentives. These have not been implemented in letter and spirit.

I appeal to the Centre and the states to implement the Disability Act, 1995, in toto. At the same time, the physically challenged people and their families should come together on a common platform to effectively realise their various legal rights by shedding all inhibitions. Those interested may contact the undersigned at phone no. 0172-2775717.

MANJIT SINGH, Chandigarh

Sania an icon

The growing tide of religious intolerance encourages lumpen elements and goons to spread hatred and violence in the name of religion. All religions preach peace, brotherhood, mutual respect and tolerance. The fatwas against Taslima Nasreen for her alleged blasphemy and on tennis star Sania Mirza are highly condemnable.

Sania is an icon of Indian youth and a role model for all Indian players. Having made India proud at the Asian Games, she is aiming at greater glory for herself and the country when she makes her Olympic debut in Beijing.

She should be kept away from religious controversies. Her best is yet to come. With her unwavering confidence, stamina and ability to play powerful ground strokes, she has the potential to become the world champion.

Dr S. K. AGGARWAL, Amritsar


Modernise rural schools

While unveiling the foundation stone of a school in Tikka (Kapurthala), Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that education had suffered a criminal neglect in the past (Dec 30). To modernise rural schools, he announced a package of Rs 142 crore. One hopes that primary schools receive the maximum attention. If he makes surprise visits to these schools, he will realise how they are withering away.

Let there be no talk of opening more Adarsh schools in a few chosen pockets in rural Punjab.

These cannot become a model. But if ever we succeed in making them so, our ordinary schools, suffering from innumerable inadequacies and always looking to the government for help, cannot follow them.

Before Partition and a decade after, parents were sending their children to government schools. Today, they take them to ill-equipped private schools or teaching shops even housed in dilapidated buildings.

We should restore the lost prestige of the state-run schools and launch a well-planned, rigorous and uninterrupted campaign for the improvement of schools of all categories.

Dr P.S. CHANANA, Chandigarh



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