On Kashmir Police

On Kashmir Police

What if the law you apply to public, public applies to you?

AJAZ UL HAQUE

Srinaga

Jun 2 2018

Police station is not a reception counter where men in uniform wait for your excellency with candies, bouquets and drinks to offer. We don’t share our secrets with the police to feel lighter. They are no gods who forgive us for all bad, reward us for all good. They are there to cane us into confession.

`They catch by balls, hearts and minds follow’. They don’t sell love, they sell fear – and that is their trade. Weak-hearted, lovesick chicks don’t make good policemen. So don’t condemn them for being tough. Toughness is their trait and (under the situation they work), it gets tougher – and it has to. Can’t always criticise them as they stand in the line of fire. To advise is human, to face divine. So wish them luck.

Kashmir Police is one such force famous for many things other than hosting iftars. Like any Kashmir prefixed institution, KP also is a paradox. We see them as bullies, they see themselves as victims. We blame them for harassing innocents, they claim to be our saviours. When they unleash force on people they deserve condemnation. When they are victimised, they evoke sympathy. Though the reality may be somewhere in between, but certain facts about them are too hard to be ignored, too brutal to be looked over. Dealing with the situation has given them a handle which is getting longer with time. Using force to restore normalcy is a compulsion, but doing so to unsettle social balance is a problem. Such ruthlessness leaves young boys option-less and defenceless. Fighting youth as combatants means creating a cleavage in society which the police themselves are a part of.

Police – by definition and by functioning – is a law enforcing agency. When they operate on the principle of rage and revenge, they violate the very spirit of law they work under. Sadism satiates ego, it doesn’t address the issue. Police actions can be made more reformatory than punitive. Punishment is a medicine that treats, not a poison that kills. The dose must vary case to case. If boys – once involved – turn normal and settle down, allow them to live. After all, you are there to restore the calm, not to deepen the crisis. If you know their past is past, punishing them over and over again means pushing them to the wall. This way you are converting part-time stone-pelters to full-time gun-wielders. And that is not the performance which merits a reward, that is a move which asks for a rethink. If men in uniform are doing what boys in civvies do, where then lies the difference? If law-enforcers and law-violators get on the same page, who then is guilty who innocent? Punishing people beyond measure, abusing them no end and humiliating them breeds anger and hate. Whose duty is to keep it under check?

Let police not forget that in their own cupboards lie skeletons. Ugly, horrifying skeletons. They have the same stink to hide which they want to expose in others. What if the law they apply to public, public applies to them?