Dipak Mishra, Thursday, May 04, 2006 01:59:39 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK
PATNA: The Bihar police is finding it difficult to 'police' its men with as many as 743 men in khaki — from the rank of constable to SP — being involved in 465 criminal cases.
Not surprisingly, two convictions in lower courts in the state recently have been against policemen. "Some of these cases have been pending for over a decade. Policemen have been charged with heinous crimes like dacoity, murder, rape and extortion.
But most of them have managed to escape prosecution because they are in the police force", remarked Mahendra Prasad Gupta, a lawyer who fought for the petitioner in a case related to crime in Bihar.
Incidentally, the number of policemen involved in criminal cases was given in an affidavit to the Patna High Court by the police headquarters. Ironically it also contains the name of 78 police personnel of the Vigilance Bureau, the wing that is meant to check corruption.
Gupta pointed out that last September the Patna High Court expressed anxiety over the matter and asked the state police headquarters to complete its investigation and the policemen by the next two months. "But till date investigations against 372 policemen are still pending", he said.
The IG (Headquarters) Anil Kumar Sinha stressed that action was being taken against such policemen. "If you take the number 753 in isolation it looks like a large number.
But if you take in account the police force, its a very small percentage", he added. He, however, conceded that it does have a demoralising effect on the police force.
Pointing out that the police force is a part of the society, he said: "In the society there is a large number of law abiding persons and also law breakers". He, however, said he would like to see a police force which was cent per cent clean.
Even the Bihar Police Association appears to be embarrassed at the large number of policemen wanted in criminal cases. "By and large policemen are honest. But if there are such persons action should be initiated against them", remarked the association general secretary K K Jha.
Over 120 of the policemen facing criminal charges are in the railway police — an indication why the number of crime committed on railway tracks and on running trains are so large in Bihar.
The three districts Patna, Motihari and Bhagalpur alone have over 40 policemen facing criminal cases. The police headquarters claim that it has submitted charge sheets against 369 of them and the final report on another 65.