Saturday, October 3, 2015

"Police Kaka Jay Hind"..Sharing with Hon Police DG!

“My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place - police, firefighters and members of our armed forces”....Sidney Sheldon. 

No need to introduce the famous fiction writer & no wonder about his above words as many of his characters come from those categories that end up saving lives of millions through their heroics in Sheldon’s novels. Why I recalled this quote is today when I opened the news paper, two news catch my eyes, one no doubt has been covered by most newspapers on front page & another has been got hidden on some inner page that too just one news paper. First news was about our State’s new police chief is Mr. Pravin Dixit who took over as Director General i.e. the top post in police force & it’s the another news which made me to write or share my views with our new Hon. DG…

Dear Pravin sir my all wishes & not a single word in media by anybody against your posting as DG itself speaks that how truly you deserve this chair! Sir, while you were taking the oath as top cop there was a news was about a middle age father who was brutally murdered in front of his kids & wife; & his only fault was he asked few drunk goons to keep quite as his kids studies was getting disturbed due to their voices. This happened in Nagpur, where you had been Police Commissioner in past, though not presently. Poor fellow, I think Mr. Ramteke was the name of accused, in requesting those thugs keep quite he himself got quite forever! I just can’t imagine the scene, a middle aged father got murdered brutally by three drunk goons, in front of his own kids & wife in a big city like Nagpur, What it must be situation for them & wonder is no one come for rescue not even police! I think this single news which went unnoticed by most is enough to show the situation of law & enforcement in State. Here many will say what’s big deal, every day thousands of crimes happens here, even murders, how can one single murder can decide the situation? The State population is above ninety millions & obviously you can’t have a police behind every person! (Btw this is statement by one of our Pune city’s police commissioner) Agreed & point taken but it’s not just crime but it’s the mentality of the people especially those whom we call criminals is the reason of worry! 

Sir here I will share few experiences of my very own (as again people shares experiences what they have heard or got on whatsapp without confirming them), but these are my own interface with police force & trust me I have very good friends in force & at most levels & I am proud of them as a cop friend.

First experience is with my mother on 25th Dec 12, early morning my mother was traveling by train with her sister from Ratnagiri to Mumbai & after Panvel she realized her purse which was containing 35,000/- , her cell phone, keys & pan card has been stolen, which she has kept under her head while sleeping. When the train reached CST (VT) at Mumbai they went to rail police but the psi there one Mr. xxx, instead helping them refused to take the complaint & advised them to go to Panvel railway police to launch the complaint. When my mother protested & asked him to call Panvel police whether they can take complaint, which fortunately he did. And what Panvel police inspector said is, what is surety that the purse has been stolen at Panvel only? You launch the complaint at Thane railway police only! Hearing this my mother insisted again to take the complaint then the psi said you go to Pune & launch there with making some Zero zero number you can launch it anywhere in the State. My mother said then why you are not taking here only our complaint? On this he replied as all the train comes at halt at CST i.e. VT so most of the people launch complaint here only & it’s a big bothering to us. Finally at five am in morning my mother called me at Pune & gave the phone to the psi. That guy repeated the tape to me & even said they will have to unnecessarily wait 4-5 hours to lodge the complaint if I insist to launch one! Hearing this I called few of my high ranking officer friends in police at Mumbai & make them call this guy. Then immediately the scene changed, they even offered tea to my mother & get the complaint filed. Even after all this he didn’t give copy of complaint to them but said you can collect it tomorrow. My mother pleaded that how she can come from Pune & she need it for getting new pan card, but no effect! So I would have required going to Mumbai just to collect the complaint copy, which again with some phone calls, has been posted to my residence next day!

Second Experience is most recent; two months back my briefcase carrying cash of Rs five lacs got stolen from my vehicle on Ferguson College road, hardly hundred meters from Shivajinagar police station, in morning rush hours. My driver was there & agreed it’s his negligence for keeping doors unlocked yet you don’t expect someone will dare so much is human tendency but still a negligence on his part & he was standing besides vehicle but must be looking somewhere else. When I came back from meeting & came to know about theft I took it to first nearby police station which they said call 100 number & then guided me to JM road chowki & there again they told me to go to Shivajinagar police station. Agreed all officers there cooperated but expression on their faces were clearly saying, that is no use & how I can be so negligent! Sir its two months from now & no one has called me for any updating of the investigation. I even offered them my other vehicle to lay the trap & use it as bait & was ready to do it for one month on the same spot on the FC road but they have got all the reasons from less man power to the trap idea won’t work. They checked CC TV footage which as usual was not clear, so no way of getting my money back neither any feedback about the same.

This experience is very interesting, while I was filing my complaint in Shivajinagar station with a lady psi, two youngsters came & asked the psi where is head quarter? She with all unfriendliness in voice told rather barked on them it’s not head quarter, go & ask somewhere else. The boys sheepishly stood there & said they have come from a nearby village & their bike has been stolen a month back & two days before some police man had been to their residence keeping a message with the neighbor that their bike has been found & they have to collect it from head quarter. Hearing this, the lady psi again slammed them verbally & told them she don’t know & get off. I quietly get off from my chair ask the boys to come out of cabin & told them to meet one of my friend in Police Commissioner’s office & called him explaining the boys problem. Those boys said in last two days they have been to at least five to six police stations but no one guided them or even offered any help & they have given up hope. To their surprise with my friends help in next one hour they come to know that their bike is in Pimpri police station & they went there & got it is what I presume.

Sir, each day many of the common men came across thousands of such interface with police department & keeping due respect to all my police friends not many of them have good opinion about their interface with police; rather to the most they prefer to avoid going to police. The news of my bag got stolen have been in newspapers & not a single caller who called me for inquiry was of opinion that my stolen cash will be retrieved; not a single person said don’t worry you will get back your cash, such is the confidence of people in police! This is what my concern which make me to write you. Look at my mother’s case, at five am in morning in an unknown city, seventy year aged woman who was already in shock due to the theft, no mobile to contact anyone all she needed is not her stolen goods or money but just a word of support from the police at that time is all she needed which was missing! Or look at the case of those boys who were running from chowki to chowki, & the kind of treatment they must be getting, one such I myself witnessed! On one side they must be happy with the news of getting the bike back but just to get it back in actual so much pain they have to carry! Why can’t the cop put clear message at their residence with name & address to collect their bike, which would have avoided the boys all such running around & what image they must have got in their mind for the force with such treatment they got?

I think the real challenge in front of you is not just to reduce crime & detection of crimes already happened; the real challenge is to make people trust in the Police force that yes if the criminals are there then police are also there to protect common man from the criminals. At the same time to lift the moral of the force which seems to have gone down in recent past. Reasons may be many but mainly interference of politicians & weak infrastructure as well age old technology. Any crime you refer recently the standard statement from the officer in charge is we are checking up with CC TV footage which usually is of no use. Does this mean when there was no CC TV at help the crimes were not used to get detected, is the question comes in common man’s mind & somewhere the trust in capabilities of the force itself gets damaged. You are known to be a man who makes use of technology, sure you will look in this aspect of detection but at the same time what is need of the time is updating regarding detection to the person who has suffered due to crime, which is totally missing at present. Why a person has to follow the system what happened to his stolen goods or murdered close one? I don’t say to open up all the details as I can understand it’s not in support of detection of crime but a word on sms or email or   a call from the concerned officer to the victim, periodically can surely make the difference. And this is easily possible by today’s communication technology as with help of various apps we can keep track of every complaint State wide. Like ours is a real estate company & whatever maintenance complain we get, we see that our flat holder never has to follow the complaint but we keep the track of the same for him & it’s not attending is the main issue especially creating an image in the eyes of the clients. Somewhere police department is for service of the society, this fact both sides seems have forgotten! Here to file the complaint in itself is such a tedious task for a common man that people let the crime go instead going to police.

At the same time coin has other side too, if you speak to any person of the department they are not happy is also a fact. Right from constable which is lowest rank to even very senior officers, all seems to be under tremendous stress & no wonder maximum health related problems like BP & Diabetes are most common in entire police force cutting across all the ranks. If you visit any police colony (I have visited Pune police’s colony at shivajinagar many times) then you will realize even slums are better & no person can be happy with the work by living in such situation. Man power is less is a common cry from every senior officer yet no one knows what is exact requirement of the force & thus the issue of fulfilling the required man power never gets solved! Agreed every person joining the Police force knows it’s not a 10am to 5pm job like all other jobs around, but then it has a pride which no other job has & which only comes along with that khaki wardi. But pride is not just a word, it’s a feeling, an emotion which needs to be conserved or else it evaporates with time.  One has to nurture that feeling of pride for the khaki the cop is wearing & continuous training is one such thing for it. 

What I feel from my exposure to the police force, on two fronts the department lacks & that is training that too human relations training & not just crime related, which too is important & second is latest technology & use of it for the work at hand. Here private participation of corporate companies as well individual professionals can be roped in & many will happily assist. We have done it for forest departments especially with guards where duty hours are erratic & a single mistake can cost you a life, so the tension is immense. Similarly in police force the salary of a patrolling constable is even less than clerk in bank yet he has to fight the street crime where chances of losing his own life are also involved & yet we expect him to be in his normal state of mind all the time! One needs special training for that which is missing right now.  There are many good people in force & individually doing many good things too but the collective effect isn’t enough to make the good cop image in the eyes of the society is a fact. Also we can take up many motivational initiative like “Cop of the Week’; the way ICC conduct player of the week scheme & at the year end they declair Player of the Year. This whole task can be outsourced & sure many corporate will be there to fund it, so no burden on Govt will be there of finance. Similarly, there used to be a magazine named “Dakshta”, which used to feature various crimes & its successful investigations, but in the course of time it went off. We need to have a monthly bulletin rather magazine of police force’s achievements & let it go to public as that was nice link between society & force!

Sure most of the top cops know all what I have shared yet to know & to understand & adopt are two different things, so shared. Sir, I am from a small town named Khamgoan from Vidarbha & I still remember my childhood days, when we used to see a police man in uniform we used to shout “Police kaka Jay Hind" & salute the guy, & the police man also used to smile back & returns our mock salute! Today people even avoid looking at police man when they see one on street leave apart saluting him or helping him when any problem arrives! I think the biggest challenge for you is get back those days for police force when the kids will smile & call the kahki wardi guy “Police Kaka” again; as that won’t be end of the crime around but that will be beginning of a new era which is of trust & that’s what Police force needs most as somebody’s trust in you is your biggest strength, is what our wise elder people says & sure you will agree with them! And it’s this strength of Police force which every criminal has to fear then.

My all good wishes for your responsibility & sure you will give justice to the same; sir, still there are many who believes in Police force & I am one of those many. All I will assure is though we are not wearing a khaki yet there lives a policeman in every common man, just acknowledge him & he will be at your service at first call, & then no Police force will ever be short of man power!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

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