There are some very serious concerns being raised about the behavior of our police forces over the past few days and those concerns need to be addressed by the government, by the judiciary and by the police themselves.
The recent incidents of both confirmed and alleged cases of police brutality during the nationwide protests taking place against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) have brought them in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. That they have received the blessings of the government, apart from the extremely favourable media coverage, is no secret and that makes the whole situation even more deplorable. Even a large group of our citizens are openly backing the ferocious assault of the Khaki donning enforcers of law against their fellow countrymen which really makes you wonder about the future which looks extremely bleak.
The gloves are off
We all knew that the police tend to misbehave with protestors and that they do not shy away from using excessive violence which has led to very serious injuries and in some cases even death. But the things that they have done in response to the mostly non-violent protests (that was carried out by their own citizens) has crossed all limits of decency. Words fail to describe both the fury and terror we citizens feel after watching videos like this. The heartlessness and savagery of which those policemen were operating are clearly visible to us all. I fail to understand the need to be so violent against the very people they were meant to protect.
How can the police officials even think of defending the actions of their fellow colleagues who did not think twice before unleashing their own form of violence on hapless students whose only crime was that they were protesting against the unjust, discriminatory and unconstitutional steps like CAA and NRC being taken by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.
Islamophobia on full display
Our police had reserved their special treatment for the Muslims, which was quite apparent from their actions. From being blatantly communal against Muslims who were allegedly shouting Pro Pakistan slogans, vandalizing shops and homes in Muslim localities to brutally beating them up and taking them into custody for no credible reason, the protectors of law launched a no holds barred attack on the followers of Islam.
The papers, tv channels and social media are filled with stories of how some police officers used every weapon that they could to send a personal message to the protesters – if we see you out in the open we will give you the thrashing of your lifetime. Nothing in our law allows them to do that, but they have been given the kind of sanction to unleash their terror that is only allowed in a dictatorship. I do not want to name any politicians but you know what you have done and I do hope that you are taken to task for it.
The police forces and their political masters are behaving with the protestors as if they are the enemies of our state and that they need to be shown absolutely no mercy at all. The sad part is that many of the ultra-nationalists are openly advocating an unhinged attack on mostly unarmed civilians (apart from those who have stones in their hand) as if we are in a war-like situation which is clearly not the case here.
Our police forces are responsible for containing violence and the elements behind it while maintaining law and order. We cannot allow even one police officer to carry out their brutality in such an open manner, but many of them are doing exactly that.
We may not realise this but this openly communal, prejudiced and partisan behaviour of the Baton wielding protectors of law might escalate into something so severe every citizen in our country might regret for generations to come. And their behaviour has left us in no doubt on who our police forces will side with in case there are any communal riots. Our reputation as a secular nation (something that has come under some serious scrutiny over the past few days) will be in tatters if we allow this minority hating (read Muslim) mentality to fester among those who are responsible for maintaining law and order.
Accountability at all costs
We cannot condone, deny or trivialise what the police have done. The guilty officers need to be expelled and tried in a court of law or their colleagues will be encouraged to carry forward the same insanity.
Imagine the plight of ordinary Indians who would have to complain about the injustices being meted out to them to the very people who are responsible for it and then expect mercy from them. If their behaviour is not nipped in the bud then our country would descend into anarchy and I shudder to even think about a future like that. Even those who are supporting the guilty police officers, who have turned into an inconsiderate and insensitive group of thugs, are not prepared for what will come next if the violent streak of the men in khakis is not addressed without further ado.
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