Mumbai: In what seems to be yet another blot on the escutcheon of Maharashtra Police, the men in khaki, who have sworn to enforce the rule of the law, have themselves landed in jail for violating the law. The force seems to have belied its own motto - ‘Sadrakshnaya Khalanighranaya’ (to protect good and punish evil).
Four hundred and fifty-six cases have been registered against policemen across the state, shows the latest data issued by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2017.
It has secured the ‘first’ rank in the list of criminal cases registered against police personnel while it stands second on the list of custodial deaths in the country.
Surprisingly, in all these cases, not a single police officer has been arrested for their alleged crimes. Of all the 456 cases, the police department has filed its charge sheet only in 237 cases while 35 such complaints against the cops have been quashed by a magistrate’s court.
Further surprising is the fact that only 11 police sleuths have been convicted by the courts, which means that at least 216 cops are still facing a trial.
Another feather to the hat of achievements of the state police is the fact that the department has been the second-highest ‘most corrupt’ government department in the state. This can be seen in the official data issued by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for 2017.
According to the data, a total of 170 cases have been registered against 202 police personnel for accepting or demanding bribe from the citizens, in 2017. The ACB has also recovered Rs 18,43,000 cash from these corrupt cops.
Another type of offence which often exposes the ‘cruel’ side of the policemen is custodial deaths. One can obviously not forget the brutal assault and then death of convict Manjula Shetye in Mumbai’s women’s prison by jail guards and officials. The latest is the alleged custodial death of a youngster in the city’s Wadala area.
The NCRB data highlights that a total of 15 cases have been registered against policemen for torturing or inflicting injuries on accused or under trials, who were either in remand or were only detained in 2017.
And interestingly only seven cops have been arrested for custodial deaths of these 15 persons. However, there has been no single conviction in any of the cases.
It would not be out of place to mention here that the Maharashtra Police, which is often considered as the most reliable force. But a total of 133 accused persons have escaped from the ‘strong’ clutches of the police force. Of these 103 accused were re-arrested while 19 continue to be at large.
Accordingly, five cases have been registered against several policemen for their negligence, by which the accused persons managed to escape. However, only one single police officer has been arrested and later on charge-sheeted.
Similarly, Maharashtra Police has outnumbered even the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and has bagged the first rank in injuring civilians by resorting to lathi-charge.
On various occasions, the police department has opened fire, lathi charge and so on and in all this, over 476 civilians have sustained injuries while nine have succumbed to death.
In lathi-charge alone, at least 230 innocents have sustained injuries at the hands of the police force and of these two have died.