GUWAHATI, June 11 � Failure of public order at the slightest instigation is a common sight in Assam and so a police-public conflict is arising out of it!
Clearly enough, a smooth police-public relationship continues to be a distant dream in the State, and the growing �mob mentality� among public leading to frequent law-and-order breakdown, a harsh reality.
Records show that nearly 70 cases of security personnel/police resorting to firing, mostly on irate mob, have been reported in the State in the last three years, which claimed lives of 25 civilians (between 2011 and 2013). The year 2012 alone recorded a disturbing figure of 18 deaths in police firing across the State. The list of those injured in police firing between 2011 and 2013 include 20 civilians.
Interestingly, the injury list of policemen from 2011 to 2013 stands at 24, all of them reported in the preceding year (2013). There was no report of death of any policeman in conflict situation during the period.
Psychologists attribute the growing tendency of the public becoming violent to �general discontentment�.
�With so much happening so fast around us, many people feel cheated or deprived. They draw their own conclusions. In Assam, this has grown like any other part of the country,� a city-based psychologist said.
The growing and �senseless mob mentality� among public has now emerged as a bigger challenge than ever for the law enforcers to combat, Assam Police sources commented.
Police too agree that people have become more restless and violent in the recent years and dispersing an irate crowd is no longer an easy job.
�Baton-charge is hardly a deterrent now. Every time such a situation arises, a backup plan is always kept for execution,� he said, adding that resorting to firing is always the last option and it is done to restore public order.