Cops can't always be honest due to suffocating

GUWAHATI: The people of Assam are yet to get proper services from the police force although many reforms have been initiated in the police department. Addressing a seminar on Police accountability and the civil society' in the city, former state director general of police (DGP) Prakash Singh said police officers cannot always function in a completely honest manner because of the work environment prevailing in the state as well as the other parts of the country.

"Although the officers of the Indian Police Service are among the most qualified policemen the world over, the suffocating work environment doesn't allow them to be completely honest all of the time," said Singh. The DGP presented a paper on the topic Instruments of police accountability' in the seminar that was organized jointly by the State Police Accountability Commission and the Assam State Legal Service Authority on Sunday at Administrative Staff College in the city.

Pointing out the problems faced by young police personnel, the retired officer said that the Police Act does not give sufficient scope for officials in the state to work for the people with the desired people-friendly attitude. Recounting some of the personal experiences in his long career, the former state DGP of the state said "the chain of command in the police force has become rotten". He cited the case of UP police officers who could not be honest in their duty as they were asked to collect money for the birthday celebration of chief minister Mayawati.

However, Singh said the State Police Accountability Commission has been given the responsibility of addressing all the allegations of police delinquency in the state. Although the complaints against the police officers junior to the superintendent should be redressed by the district accountability commission, the state-level commission has to redress them, which has caused an extra burden on the commission too.

Since it inception in 2007 in Assam, the commission has received a total of 144 complaints from different quarters of the state. Of these, it had already disposed of 106 complaints by May this year. "We have received total 144 complaints since December 2007. We have already addressed 106 complaints," said Justice D N Chowdhury, chairman of accountability commission.