Promotions come quick, punishments never
WRITE HAND BY AJAZ UL HAQUE
Qamarwari shoot-out ended up killing three youth, who, according to police sources, were militants. Though Sharif-u-Din Shariq's statement that one of them was innocent created the next morning sensation, but police stuck to its guns. DGP Kuldip Khoda rejected Shariq's comment as a piece of `imagination'.
To make a conclusive comment on the incident will be too premature. Given the details from either side, one can only suspend one's opinion somewhere between culpability and innocence. Of course the track record of police in tackling the recent crisis and above all the public perception they generally enjoy, also raises some serious questions about the veracity of the official claim. On the other hand, just a statement from a Member Parliament followed by a usual uproar in support of such statements from separatist camp can't be taken an evidence irrefutable that they were innocents who were caught and killed. Still the question remains that could the killings have been averted. Presume they were militants, would it have been more acceptable to arrest them or to shoot them dead?
Two points that merit a mention. First, what sounds more dangerous than the shoot-out itself is the announcement of promotions for those `brave boys' who, according to police sources, have shown courage and averted a possible loss of life. In recognition of this `bravery', DGP ordered out of turn promotion for four police officials and five lakh rupees for the party on duty. Seen from a cold professional point of view, it makes an encouraging message. Accepted that professional excellence merits to be honored and acknowledged, but here the cost is too high to be paid and consequences too devastating to bear. This blood-based promotion policy has cheapened human lives in the past. Machill is the freshest example in sight. How innocents were picked up, shot dead, buried, rather dumped in the nameless graves, is the blackest chapter of Kashmir's recent history. How identities were mutilated at will to justify the killings has shaken up human hearts. Against this background, we are only opening up newer possibilities for this blood trade. Lure for money and an urge to scale high are temptations irresistible. It's a proverbial empty door that can tempt even a saint and a policeman, after all, is man first. A bare suspicion can be held as a ground sufficient to have one shot and get promoted as a mark of acknowledgment. Murder can be easily used as a short-cut to success.
Second, accepted you have rewards to offer those who, according to you, put their own life to risk to save others' lives. And the rewards are instant. Even the details of the event had not completely poured in, promotions were ordered. Is the same swiftness exercised when it comes to punishing the erring cops? Old stories apart, from June 2010 onwards how many policemen were punished against using a disproportionate force that resulted in more than a hundred killings. Or even at some places where guns rattled unprovoked, have the guilty been brought to book. Promoting the deserved, (no matter the danger it entails) would have still made some sense had guilty also been punished. Policing is not all about taking lives. It has to be about saving lives from being taken away.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Dec 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Dec 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 5 Dec 2010 00:00:00 IST
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