ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Reforms for Indian Police

Reforms for Indian Police The Indian Police: A Critical Evaluation by Arvind Verma; Regency Publications, New Delhi, K S SUBRAMANIAN The misdeeds and oppression, characteristic of the inherited police structure in rural and urban India, came out sharply during the Emergency of 1975-77 and were duly documented in the Shah Commission report. A reform process was initiated in 1977 outlined in detail in the eight reports of the National Police Commission (197981) and in the report of the L P Singh Committee on the role of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). However, the Congress, which returned to power in 1980, rejected all these reports. In 1984, the anti-Sikh riots witnessed the participation of the police in the violence against the Sikhs. This was followed by its massive communalisation, leading up to the demolition of the Babri masjid in 1992, the Bombay violence in 1992-93 and the Gujarat carnage in 2002, which witnessed the active participation and facilitation by the police in the mass violence against the minority community. The criminal justice system had collapsed almost completely in large parts of the country, but for some positive actions taken by the National Human Rights Commission and the Supreme Court of India, especially with regard to the horrendous Best Bakery case in Gujarat. Governments led by both the major political formations in India have notably neglected action on the needed police reforms. The present government in New Delhi has, however, made a symbolic gesture recently by setting up a narrowly conceived committee to redraft the Police Act of 1861, still in force. This is a positive step but is well short of the comprehensive reforms that are called for.

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