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State Govt soft on �criminal� cops

By Sanjoy Roy

GUWAHATI, Dec 6 - More than 35 per cent of the policemen against whom the common man had dared to lodge complaints of �serious misconduct� were caught on the wrong foot in the last seven years, records say.

With the eye-catching statistics of the Assam Police Accountability Commission (APAC) doing no good to the reputation of the men-in-khaki, Dispur too seems to be happy playing the role of a fence-sitter.

Although a source at Dispur claimed that the rising graph of wrongdoers in the police department is a cause of worry and the Home Department has been acting tough on these black sheep, the ground reality speaks otherwise.

Since 2008, although the APAC had recommended departmental proceedings in 134 cases and criminal proceeding against 26 policemen, Dispur opted to comply only in 32 cases in total. Instead, it has exonerated 20 policemen of the charges levelled against them.

Till November 2015 (Since 2008), more than 500 complaints of various natures, including custodial deaths, extortion, blackmailing, land grabbing, improper investigation, harassment and non-registration of FIR, were received against various policemen, of which 476 cases have been disposed off till date (November 2015).

This is in addition to cases registered with the Criminal Investigation Department and those taken up by the Assam Human Rights Commission and the National Human Rights Commission.

Apart from the complaints lodged with the Accountability Commission, the police department itself has registered more than 135 cases in different police stations across the State in the last two years. Dhubri, Darrang, Kamrup (M), Kamrup, Kokrajhar, Jorhat and Cachar are some of the districts which have recorded the most number of cases in various police stations against policemen of different ranks.

�There have been cases in the recent past where policemen holding important posts were found stepping in the shoes of wrongdoers and we have taken action against them. In another incident, an officer-in-charge of a police station was arrested due to his alleged involvement in a theft case in Kamrup. But, yes, such recurring incidents are not healthy signs. The police department needs a reality check so that the faith of the common man can be restored,� the source added.

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