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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Former Pune DGP on what has weakened the organisational structure of police department

Former director general of police Jayant Umranikar speaks about problems ailing the state police department.

pune Updated: Nov 11, 2017 15:24 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Former director general of police Jayant Umranikar.
Former director general of police Jayant Umranikar.(Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)

Former director general of police Jayant Umranikar is regarded an upright police officer with integrity and impeccable policing credentials by many. Having worked with the country’s premiere Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Umranikar is an advocate of wide ranging police reforms and transformational change in policing. He has also authored the book titled ‘Police Reforms in India: A Sisyphean Saga’ where he has made a passionate plea for modernisation of police force and for ushering in reforms especially a change in the mindset and professionalism. He spoke to Nadeem Inamdar about problems ailing the state police department.

The number of cases of police high handedness, collusion with criminals and abuse of power is on the rise. What is the main problem?

Unfortunately, the policemen come from the same society and that they are no better than the society they represent. Over time, they have imbibed the bad qualities of the society and the current behaviour is a reflection of the society, its manners and mindset. The problem can be settled if an eligibility condition of subjecting the police recruit to a psychological test is done at the entry level itself so that proper measurement of their reaction and behavioural pattern in the wake of changing and emerging situations can be recorded and utilised for ensuring effective policing. Continuous retraining and reassessment of policemen will go a long way in helping the organisation to detect people who are likely to go astray from their assigned charter of duties.

Is the police hierarchy on the verge of a breakdown?

The organisational structure of the police department has weakened considerably. The government now handles the transfer of police inspectors to a particular police station area and not his superior. Hence, the junior officer is more loyal to the authority which has the power to transfer and not his immediate superior. Corruption too has played a major role in superiors losing command and control over the junior office. Therefore it is imperative that superiors demonstrate the highest levels of moral excellence and integrity which will keep the juniors in control. If the senior is corrupt, then how will the junior obey , listen and do what he is being ordered by the superior. The current situation is that the hierarchy has been challenged, albeit broken and loyalty and camaraderie factors are missing due to a strong trust deficit. All these factors have contributed to the weakening of the organisational structure and hierarchy.

What is the most immediate possible solution to this problem?

There is no immediate solution to this problem as it is systemic in nature. Patch ups and cosmetic changes will bring no change in the way policing is being done. The police department will have to reinvent and reorient its methods and it should begin from the top. The police will have to become more acceptable to the public and this can happen only if policemen begin to re-evaluate themselves and initiate self improvement.The police should aim at giving to the society and not at taking from it. Corruption has disrupted the functioning of the police force and the hidden privatisation of the police force should be brought to an end at the earliest in the interest of society.

First Published: Nov 11, 2017 15:22 IST

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