New police mantras to deal with protests, crowd

  • Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Dec 09, 2013 12:59 IST

The Delhi police may not use force against protestors the way it did at India Gate lawns after the December 16 rape incident. Instead, it will handle protests with new crowd control actions like advance liaison with protestors and backdoor diplomacy.

When the police brass of the country sat to discuss pressing issues before the law enforcement agencies, Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi said that crowds at such agitations consist of both peaceful and volatile protestors. Moreover, intense media coverage makes situation complex for the force.

Outlining the strategy, Bassi said that during such protests, local pressure groups and fragmented leadership needed to identified in advance and kept engaged. The force should also be prepared to wear out protestors over a long period of time.

After Bassi, it was the turn of Jammu and Kashmir director general of police (DGP) Ashok Prasad who suggested a formation of study group to develop and standardise a model for non-lethal policing and identification of best practices.

Prasad added that his state’s police have altered its strategy from confrontation to pre-emption and highlighted the need of anticipation, planning and preparation to deal with protests. According to Prasad, employing non-lethal means of crowd control can be explained in the context of a trade-off between fundamental right of the individual, fundamental duty of the police and the self-imposed doctrine of minimum use of force.

Andhra Pradesh DGP B Prasada Rao added that negotiation, multi-stakeholder approach and effective media strategy as effective tools to deal with protests.

 

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