Not within earshot

Haryana cops need to listen to scientific ways

Not within earshot

Photo for representation only

The statistics are disquieting. Despite various courts across Haryana remaining unconvinced by the police contention that they had overheard the accused plotting a dacoity — for no one is likely to hatch a conspiracy within earshot of anybody — the number of people facing trial in such cases continues to be high, even though the number of cases has seen a downward trend. In one case brought to the fore through RTI and reported in The Tribune, the six accused didn’t even know one another; they were picked up from different places and incredulously framed for planning the commission of a crime together. That the suspects had to undergo trial lasting many months before acquittal evokes repulsion at the ineptness of the cops.

No innocent should have to fall prey to the police’s questionable philosophy of ‘controlling’ crime that seems to undergird such a quasi-legal measure. It only reinforces the common man’s lack of trust in the force’s ability to catch the real culprits and bring them to book through effective prosecution. With only small fry continuing to bear the brunt of the lathi and the big sharks escaping the police net, it is not surprising that the crime rate has not been arrested.

Haryana would do well to emulate Punjab that has realised the limitations of the competence of its police force in taking on the criminals. In a credible and creditable step that will bear fruit, it may soon become the first state in the country to invigorate its force by infusing in it plainclothes professionals from fields such as information and digital technology, forensics and accounting to assist the cops in tackling new-age offenders. Ever since it hired a detective agency to check female foeticide in 2018, the health department has got critical support in conducting sting operations on erring doctors. Haryana, too, needs to restructure its system and adopt a scientific approach to crime detection, prevention and prosecution. It will empower the cops with the cutting edge needed to outwit the planners and plotters of dacoity and other crimes. Catching a criminal in the act can even dilute political influence, if any.

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