Jammu, Nov 25: Director General of Police R R Swain Saturday stated that the intentions of the adversary would be defeated with the perfect synergy of police and army engaged in containing terrorism.
“This is a challenge which will be met with our resolve to fail their (adversary’s) all designs. We need to remain alarmed; people also need to remain alert against nefarious designs of adversary and we will frustrate those designs and contain terrorism, which forms the fulcrum of their (adversary’s) politics and economy,” he said, while responding to a query pertaining to spurt in terror attacks in Rajouri, Poonch. With regard to the recent operation, DGP too echoed what the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi on Friday had stated, that there was no local support for terrorists and the killed terrorists were foreign terrorists.
DGP was speaking to the media on the sidelines of his maiden Public Durbar in Jammu.
With regard to queries about the Public Durbar, DGP said, “This is for the first time, I’ve been doing it in Jammu province. Prior to it, I had taken a similar initiative in Kashmir. Whether the nature of complaints received in Jammu will be different from those received in Kashmir – I will come to know later after the process is over. Right now, I’m still in the process of listening to public grievances.”
He stated, “Mainly the issues (in public Durbar) pertain to like few people come with the desire to get their wards employed as SPOs; some have transfer issues as the (police) department is too big, in some cases, the people are helpless as parents are too old (to fend for themselves).”
DGP asserted that actually, his objective for convening public direct hearing was to know about flaws vis-à-vis police services or discrepancies, if there were any and then find a way out to address or resolve them. “In other words, I wanted to have a direct knowledge of grey areas and also to put a check. Like if one has not been able to get one’s grievances redressed at the junior level, so this (direct public hearing) offers an opportunity to meet a senior officer to seek redressal. On the whole, we get a mish-mash of complaints. In between, the people did air grievances pertaining to police services. So, it’s a mixed situation as of now,” he informed.
When asked about the anticipated outcome of this novel initiative, J&K’s top cop said, “We want the end-result of this exercise in building confidence or trust of a common man (in the police department); to maintain connection (police-public); to keep a check and provide a forum for grievance redressal. This is also a message for my colleague officers; junior colleagues; senior leadership at the middle level of police (administration) that they should also hear grievances. Obviously, then many grievances will get redressed at the cutting-edge level of leadership only. This is, basically, still an experiment with noble objectives. Let’s see how it unfolds.”
Responding to a question pertaining to “negative perception” about police force among masses, he said that the element of coercion was imperative (for a law enforcement agency) to maintain order.
“Everywhere law enforcement works as a coercive force. The police department across the world, when resorts to law enforcement, inherently there is a coercive angle means strict action has to be taken against certain people and that also explains rationale behind the existence of police to provide a safety-valve to rest of citizenry; to enhance sense of safety and security for a common citizen,” he said.
Further elaborating on this account, DGP Swain said, “This is the logic behind the regulatory authority. For example, a traffic police cop, though does not act like a cop in the Police Station yet he (traffic cop) does regulate. So, there is coerciveness behind regulation. So, you cannot do without police everywhere. Thus, no police – is an unthinkable situation. I’m saying it not because I’m a policeman. Look at the history, you would have seen what the USA had done with the police at Baghdad in Iraq and after that the situation totally went out of control.”
He stated that the services rendered by the police were very critical. “In its (police forces) absence, there will be no order; there will be lawlessness. It might sound academic. Point is that it is a (we are) continuous striving. How? That’s a very difficult job (to take a call on the degree of coerciveness to be used when and where to maintain law and order). While performing that difficult job, there can be some honest (inadvertent) mistakes. But in the situation where a handful of persons within the police, who deliberately indulge in acts, unbecoming of the force; or those who are not performing their duties honestly or with good intention, there is always a mechanism of disciplinary proceedings in the department to rein in such acts and elements. Like, the army under Army Act takes action against its personnel, including officers (in case they commit wrong), similarly the police too have a mechanism in place to keep a check,” DGP said.
He assured that those mechanisms and channels would always remain alive and there would be no tinkering with them.
“We will never allow a blot in the fair name of the force. We will never allow the law enforcement to lose its neutrality, objectivity and fairness in the use of its rights and powers. There are many good officers and they are the fulcrum of this system (police administration). The individual police officers can be wrong but as a department as a force, we work day in and day out; work during odd hours; during holidays, festivals – unlike the employees of other departments. This all has to do with a different spirit. It has a lot of obstacles, difficulties. It’s not an easy job,” he asserted.
Underlining the essence of “coerciveness” in maintaining law and order, he said, “In my 33 years of service, some very senior judicial officers at times suggested to use force against those who would have committed theft at their (judicial officers’) places or would have committed some other crime impacting them (judicial officers) as they felt that no other way could correct those delinquent persons.”
“You make so many movies where you show a policeman as a hero going overboard. I think this is a deeper issue as to how much force you will calibrate (to maintain order). I think that intention is more important. There are examples where even the people accept, support and ignore the honest mistakes committed by the officers while doing their jobs honestly. It is a continuous process of holding each other’s hands and marching forward,” he explained.
Some of the participants, who aired their grievances in the Durbar, described their experience as very satisfactory.
While speaking to media persons, one of the participants suggested that the initiative of Durbar should be “decentralised.” “It means that similar Durbars should be held at the district and block level also, so that our grievances could be redressed then and there only, instead of visiting Jammu and Srinagar,” he said.
“This is a maiden initiative of its kind. We are very happy and satisfied,” he said.
Another participant Babita Bhat said that the women were being given priority. “All those who have met him (DGP) are returning with beaming faces; this has rejuvenated our hopes as well,” she said.
Abdul Majeed Rahi from Doda suggested that the DGP should specifically fix a day or two in a month in Jammu as well as in Kashmir to listen to grievances of families of martyrs who had laid down their lives for the nation.