A police initiative to develop “good relations” with people in a Bhopal neighbourhood exposed the feudal mindset that still prevails within a section of the force, residents said on Friday.
Senior superintendent of police Raman Singh Sikarwar had instructed senior police officials in the city to hold public meetings called Jan Samvad in the police stations under their jurisdiction to establish rapport between the force and the people.
The programme’s objective was to establish dialogue in a pleasant atmosphere so that honest people do not shy away approaching the police, said Sikarwar.
But what happened at a public meeting organised by the Gautam Nagar police station at a school in JP Nagar was just the opposite.
Police invited residents of the neighbourhood to assemble at the school but did not make any seating arrangement for them.
While residents were asked to sit on the floor officials of the police station, including town inspector Gautam Nagar, Ashish Bhattacharya were given chairs.
“We were asked by the policemen to come to the school as police officials wanted to meet us,” said a resident whose relative was present at the meeting.
Sikarwar admitted that what happened at meeting was wrong. “I too came across the photographs of the programme. They were not in good spirit and we will take care that this doesn’t happen again,” he said.
The main objective of the programme was defeated, Sikarwar said, adding that in future police officials will be instructed to hold the Jan Samvad programme more seriously.
Bhattacharya did not respond to phone calls made by HT.