Suggesting that instead of outrightly rejecting the draft Jammu & Kashmir Police Bill 2013, BJP chief spokesperson and national executive member Jitendra Singh on Thursday said there was a need for a rational and objective discussion on various proposals incorporated in it.
He said the BJP had always favoured total accountability of police personnel without impinging on the democratic liberties of a common citizen, but it should not lead to any bias or prejudice against bringing in reforms particularly in the light of the fact that the existing Police Act in Jammu & Kashmir was framed way back in 1927 and was inspired by the Indian Police Act of 1862 enacted by the British.
Singh said over the past one century, not only the nature of crime has changed, but the society's expectations from the police have also evolved to a different level. It was considering this fact that the Supreme Court had six years ago put forward the suggestion of police reforms, he added.
He said for example conventional crime had yielded place to cyber crime and the 21st century policing also called for use of hi-tech crime-control techniques. Moreover, the menace of terrorism has added a new dimension to the constraints of policing, he added.
Singh said the proposal for empowerment of Village Defence Committees (VDCs), envisaged in the draft Police Bill, has been a long standing demand of the BJP and it was in recognition of a commendable role played by the VDCs during the height of militancy in this state.
Calling for a dispassionate debate on reforms, Singh appealed to Kashmir-centric political groups not to exploit the issue to raise separatist passions and assured that wherever there was an unwarranted intrusion into a common citizen's freedom, the BJP would oppose it without any compromise.