‘We will not commit crime and not allow others to do so’
Known as goondas and history-sheeters in police records a number of people assemble at police stations of their respective areas at the behest of the police officers and given respect by giving them chairs to sit on. It is followed by a counselling to them and an oath by them ‘Neither will we commit any crime nor will we allow anyone to commit crime’.
This is happening in Bhopal with an initiative taken by police, as claim police authorities, to allow goondas and history-sheeters to join mainstream of society by excluding their names from the list of goondas under police surveillance if they have stopped committing crimes for five years or more.
However, a rider behind selection among such people for counseling and oath is that they must not have committed any crime at least in the past 5 years and their age must be above 50-55 years, said deputy inspector general of police, Bhopal Irshad Wali.
During the counselling, as per the DIG, they are told how leading a normal life is beneficial to them and their families. Police authorities also promise to them that they will not be called to the police stations at regular intervals what they are supposed to do at present and that police will even help them get employment too if they are not getting jobs due to their criminal records
Wali said, “In a way it’s two way communications to build trust in each other so that police could make them a better citizen and seek their help in controlling crimes while the latter feel confident that police will not harass them unnecessarily and that they can live a respectful life in society.”
Additional superintendent of police (ASP) Dinesh Kaushal who is looking after the activities in at least six police stations in the city said, “Oath also includes a promise from them that they will give information to people on crimes and criminals so that police can take action against such elements on time.”
Kaushal said there was a good response from history-sheeters who looked eager to get their names excluded from the list of such people under surveillance of police and get their names entered into a ‘mafi’ register. About 200 such people so far took oath in these police stations.
‘However, they have been warned too that if they indulge in crimes again they will see their names again in the list of history-sheeters and that they will have to turn up at the police stations concerned regularly”, added Kaushal.
A history-sheeter in Parwalia police station who didn’t want to be named said, “I am like others always a suspect in the eyes of police whenever there is any crime in my area, even though I am not involved in any offence for a long time. Such a measure by police is really encouraging for me. It will help my children too who have fear that police can come to my place anytime.”
Bhopal based social worker Umashankar Tiwari said, “There are people who commit crime due to circumstances but they want to join the mainstream of society and live a normal life like others. Such measures will help them. However, police will have to ensure that there is no biased action on its part. Otherwise, the purpose behind the move will be defeated.”