GUWAHATI, June 17 - In what should invite serious introspection within the Assam Police set-up, more than 320 police personnel have been arrested and booked for various offences, including some serious ones, since 2012 to till date.
And with incidents of law-enforcers turning into law-breakers continuing to recur across the State, it is the issue of trust-deficit that the Assam Police has been confronted with, more than anything else.
The recent arrest of senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Dr N Rajamarthandan may come as a revelation for many, but what is more shocking is the alarming increase of cases where thana-level police personnel are being caught on the wrong foot, thereby bringing disrepute to the force.
Records available with The Assam Tribune reveal that as many as 319 policemen were arrested between 2012 and 2016 for their direct and indirect involvement in various forms of crime, including some heinous ones. During the same period, 181 men-in-khakis were also suspended for their alleged professional misconduct.
In the current year (2017) too, a number of such arrests have been made, where cops, including a deputy superintendent of police, an inspector and a lady sub-inspector, were arrested for various offences.
Among the districts which recorded the most number of such cases is Dibrugarh with 42 arrests, closely followed by Hailakandi (39) and Karimganj (35).
What is significant here is that majority of these arrested police personnel are of the rank of inspector, sub-inspector, assistant sub-inspector, head constable and constable, who usually run the show in a police station.
While the number of police inspectors arrested in the last five years is three, the number of such sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors stood at 35 and 31 respectively. Further, compared to 23 head constables booked for various offences, the number of arrested constables was 259.
Reacting to this, an official of the State home department said that display of impunity in any form by the law-enforcers cannot be condoned and at the same time, it is also a matter of worry, which needs to be addressed.
�We cannot allow the situation to go beyond control. We will take necessary measures so that the reputation of the force is not taken for a ride. Morality has to be maintained by the force,� asserted the official.