In just two weeks, Mumbai has seen three cases where members of the police force have been attacked on duty. One case led to the death of the constable, another was nearly fatal.
The incidents put the spotlight on such rising attacks in Mumbai and has got officers, politicians and experts concerned.
Lok Sabha MP and former Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh, said on Wednesday that such assaults were sending the wrong message and that he will take up the matter in the house. Singh called for authorities to take strict action — perhaps even denying assailants passports and driving licenses.
“When someone assaults police personnel, every police station should create this person’s record and share it across the state. When the assailant applies for a passport, driving license, NOC or character certificate, they should be denied these documents. This could ensure such incidents reduce,” Singh said.
But what is causing these attacks? Psychologists and sociologist feel it is the degrading of values among the youth and them losing respect for the uniform. Sociologist Nandini Sardesai said it is a “sorry state of affairs as police officials are being denied use of their lathis for self-defence”.
“The law and order machinery is under threat. The police are helpless as youth have lost a sense of value. The younger generation is intolerant and have become irreverent. They do not care that the police is, after all, looking after the society’s interest,” Sardesai said, while suggesting police be given martial arts training for self-defense.
According to psychologist Harish Shetty, slow justice means people are getting bold and unafraid of consequences. “People, when extremely angry, don’t see the difference between a policeman and a common man and they become emotionally numb. At that point, they are not afraid of the consequences. The slow judicial mechanism has made it “easy to escape.”
The city police is working overtime to ensure law and order during the festive season. Sources said the police are working without holidays and are underpaid. “The police represent the state. If they aren’t safe, how can the society be safe?,” Singh told HT.