ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

PoliceSubscribe to Police

How Can We Rethink Police Accountability in India?

Use of force by the police is a substantial problem in India. To a large extent, the measures so far have focused on police’s functional autonomy and independence from political pressures. Yet, this also merits the question of whether fixing the political–police relationship alone will lead to more accountable police. While such top-down reforms have been pending since the time of independence, they have overlooked the simultaneous need for bottom-up approaches focusing on police empowerment. To rethink police accountability in India, we must focus on two core areas—community policing, and better training. These structural measures focus on changing the police–public power equation and mark the shift from a colonial police force to one that is true to the spirit of democratic policing.

Violence and Trust in Police in India

The police are a state institution that citizens are familiar with, but the perception of this institution among the people depends on the amount of trust vested in the police. Empirical application of ordered probit models on the India Human Development Survey-II data set suggests that the recent experience of violence faced by a household affects its trust in the police significantly. The trust varies widely across regions and communities in India, both for households that did or did not experience recent violence. Training the police forces them to approach cases with empathy and a shift to community-based policing may help to bridge the trust deficit.

Ethos of Justice and Its Adversaries

Rape atrocities tragically suggest that justice is in dire need of egalitarian commitment by every citizen.

Is Policing a Moral Question?

The actions of the police in the Hathras gang rape case show a disturbing lack of sensitivity.

How Real Is the Crime Decline in India?

Since 1991 in India, the crime rates of both property-related crimes and violent crimes, except crimes against women, have fallen significantly. While the decreasing trend is undisputed in Western nations, the perception in India is that the crime data has been manipulated by the police. The examination of constituent units composed of a diverse selection of districts in India suggests that the trends are generally similar across the country and are not an outcome of deliberate police practices. Police practices do not present any evidence of geographical bias in the registration of crime.

India's Silent Acceptance of Torture Has Made It a 'Public Secret'

The prevention of torture has been one of the key human rights developments in the last decade. With India’s strong stake for a seat at the security council, the issue has assumed importance. However, India’s commitment to preventing and abolishing torture as well as punishing its perpetrators is extremely weak.

Anthropology of Police Authority

Provisional Authority: Police, Order, and Security in India by Beatrice Jauregui, Chicago, London: Chicago University Press, 2016; pp ix+ 205, $35 /£24.50.

Loving and Living in 21st Century India

Honour killings are rampant in many parts of India, particularly in its north and northwest states. An account of a young couple who managed to escape and marry but are still being hunted and thus, hiding.

Gujarat: A Civil Service Failure

The principal reason for administrative and police failure is the growing power that politicians, and ministers in particular, have assumed over civil and police officers directly and indirectly through encouragement and tolerance of inefficiency and misconduct, and by the means of punitive transfers of officials if they act against misbehaving politicians. If the horrific events of the recent past in Gujarat are to be prevented, a sense of the responsibilities under the law should be restored among officials of the state.

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