ibnlive » India

Mar 07, 2013 at 10:10pm IST

Police apathy towards citizens stemming from political interference, deplorable working conditions

New Delhi: CNN-IBN's special investigation has exposed the shocking attitudes of police towards women and crimes against them. Police officials claim there is political interference in rape cases and that the force is underpaid, overworked and frustrated at work.

"There is always political pressure to make false cases look like true cases," said a police officer of Tosham Police Station, Haryana. "Case gets registered, the police investigates but even then we have to suffer and tolerate so much," said a police official in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.

In many police stations, it seems like the police force is severely understaffed, ill-paid, poorly motivated and vulnerable to political interference. "Our jobs hang on political pressures. It just differs on the basis of which party is in power," said a policeman in Kotwali Police Station, UP.

"If the Superintendent of Police himself orders you to get the work done according to the politicians, then what can we do but follows those instructions," a police officer in Bhiwani, Haryana said. "We had an honest Senior Superintendent of Police, who used to make sure the culprits land in jail after the crime. But the politicians removed him," revealed a police officer in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.

The investigation has revealed that poor pay and rare promotions leave many officers demotivated and angry, directly affecting their performance. "We work so hard 24-hours and yet our salaries are worse than a fourth class workers," complained an officer in Tosham Police Station, Haryana.

"There are no promotions ever. If you've entered the police force as a constable, you will always remain a constable. There is no motivation," said an officer. "Shirt prices these days are no less Rs 1800, and yet, we are given Rs 1800 for the entire year for our uniforms."

The police also complained of lack of government support alleging that it never provides the force with money to refuel their jeeps or for other essential facilities. They also alleged that there is severe lack of offices for the force to work in.

The police force is also understaffed. "We have 128 villages under our police station and there are not even 100 officers," said a police officer from Bulandshahar Police Station, UP.

Chronic political interference in investigations and apathy towards their working conditions are also the factors that are often ignored. But the deep-seated discontent in the police force does shape their attitude to work and performance.

Most Indian policemen live and work in poor conditions and are frustrated and cynical, which often translates as corruption across ranks and insensitivity towards the public. How can such a police force then be expected to effectively protect society?