Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times
Following the 1857 revolution and its unsettling impact on the colonial rulers, in 1861 the British established the police as an organised institution in India, not to serve the people but to protect, perpetuate and consolidate their oppressive rule in the country. In 1902, the Indian Police Commission admitted that the police force had utterly failed to secure the confidence and cordial cooperation of the people.
Today, more than hundred years since this observation and over seventy years since India’s independence, not much has changed in India’s police system. New enactments have been patterned on the model of the old 1861 legislation. Even though the state of Uttarakhand is rather young, the policing story has been much the same. “The public at large is convinced that a policeman can get away with anything – from being rude, unresponsive and negligent, to being corrupt and murderous,” notes Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in its report on police accountability in the State. Read the full story here.