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Aam Admi Party's fight with the Police, a first in the country
Aam Admi Party is the first political party since independence to attempt to check corruption in the police force any where in the country. They deserve kudos for their efforts and every support that we can give.

Arguably, the Indian Police is the most corrupt organization in the country. It is almost impossible for the disadvantaged members of our society to do anything without paying the police. We, the ex-servicemen are generally exempted from demands by the police. But even I have paid speed money to have my licence renewed and to have hypothecation removed from the registration certificate of my car. The constables who came for passport verification of a student I know took Rs 200. A SHO demanded Rs 30000 from an industrialist friend to carry out verification for his Tatkal passport. The SP of the district when contacted refused to intervene. Even a call from the MLA could not make the SHO change his stand.  

Police throughout the country are engaged in a large scale extortion racket that brings in thousands of crores of Rupees every month. The police stations and Regional Transport Organizations (RTOs) are the main collection centres of the extorted money. It is a well known secret that the post of SHOs and RTOs are auctioned off to the highest bidders. Once posted, the SHO or the RTO is allowed to extort as much money as he can from pavement dwellers, street vendors, drivers and owners of taxis, busses, trucks, auto-rickshaws and small business. I have read in papers of labourers picked up by police on trumped up charges and the family being asked to pay a ransom. Cases of custodial death due to torture for not paying the ransom are not uncommon and go largely unpunished. If the wife of the person picked up ventures to the police station to enquire about her husband, the odds are that she will end up being raped at the police station. 

The second source of earning for the police is protection money. This protection money is collected from known criminals and history sheeters like thieves, bootleggers, drug peddlers, women traffickers, history-sheeters, bars, massage parlours, gambling dens, illegal quarry operators, etc. to turn a blind eye on their activities. 

The third and perhaps the most lucrative is money extracted from people accused for a criminal or civil offence. The police demand and collect money for carrying out shoddy investigation, ignoring or destroying evidence, intimidating witnesses to change their statements in favour of the accused or to register the offence under a less serious and bailable section of the IPC. They also take money from parties engaged in property disputes and for not implementing court orders. The most high profile attempt to bribe the police that made news in the media recently was the bribe of Rs 5 crores given by Narain Sai, son of self styled god man Asha Ram Bapu and accused of rape, to Gujrat police. Unfortunately for him, the four women police officers investigating the case refused the offer, reported the matter to higher ups and the media and turned in the cash. It was reported that Narain Sai had arranged for a total of Rs 13 crores for bribing police and politicians to bail him out of trouble. Circumstantial evidence even suggests that CBI is not averse to such payments. How else can one explain CBI’s recommendation to the trial court to close the Arushi-Hemraj murder case for lack of evidence? Unfortunately for the Talwars who must have paid crores, the court rejected the CBI recommendation and convicted them based on evidence available.

In return for the right to extort and collect bribes, the SHOs and RTOs must hand over the agreed sum to their superiors for sharing the loot. They are allowed to keep the rest. Ever heard of a police officer being prosecuted for possessing assets disproportionate to his income?

Police Politician Nexus

The police-politician nexus is age old, enduring and pan India. How else would you explain the fact the BJP and the Congress are against passing administrative control of Delhi Police to Delhi Government though they try to fool the people of Delhi into believing that they are for giving full statehood to Delhi. The reason is simple. The police department is a cash cow for the political parties and politicians. If administrative control of a major portion of the police is handed over to the Delhi Government, the earnings of senior policemen and politicians of Delhi, perhaps including the Home Minister, will fall drastically. Which politicians or senior police officer will accept that? Mr. Shinde, who started his career in the police as an ASI must be well aware of the stakes.

AAP vs Police

The Aam Admi Party is the first and only political party since independence to have declared war on corruption. After coming to power in Delhi, they have created an anti corruption helpline for the people of Delhi. They are also training the ordinary people to carryout sting operations. Their findings are that 70% of the corruption complaints related to Delhi Police. They have also carried out 1200 sting operations against the Delhi Police but are unable to process them for lack of cooperation from senior officers of Delhi Police and the Home Ministry of the Central Government. Delhi’s Law Minister is in trouble for trying to push the police to act against criminals. But Aam Admi Party has not yet given up. BJP is agitating against them. The Congress may withdraw support. But the Party has ignored these irritants.  

Worst thing that can happen for the police and most politicians of India is that the administration of police is handed over to anti corruption crusaders like the Aam Admi Party, because the century old system of corruption and extortion which benefits the police and the politicians alike, may then collapse. Each and every political party is targeting the Aam Admi Party.

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