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Beasts in khaki


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Beasts in khaki

When policemen guard rapists

The Punjab Police’s record of human rights violations is second to none. Its gallant personnel have done everything from killing to maiming to tattooing “Jebkatri†on the forehead of women pickpockets. But even that sick performance pales into insignificance before what a few policemen did in Amritsar on October 6. They were on guard duty with two convicts serving a sentence in the high-security central jail. Instead of taking them to hospital for treatment as it was shown on paper, they connived with the convicts, took them to an abandoned house, where the convicts and their accomplices allegedly gangraped the estranged wife of one of them. While the victim, allegedly brought there by misleading her that her imprisoned husband was on deathbed, was being raped, the guards reportedly drank liquor provided by the rapists. The incident is too shocking for words and can shake the confidence of the public in the police force.

Policemen are supposed to be protectors of innocent citizens. The worst that one can expect from them is dereliction of duty. But their joining hands with the criminals is the ultimate ignominy. By doing so, they have proved to be as bad criminals as the rapists. This is an extreme case but the police is already notorious for various such dark activities. They continue to defy the law mainly because many of them get away with minor or no punishment. One shudders to think what will happen if even the Amritsar beasts get away lightly.

The police-criminal nexus has become an unbearable menace. For a price, policemen allow convicts all kinds of facilities which allow them to function freely even from jails. Shifting a criminal to a hospital is just an excuse for sending him on an unofficial parole. The police has arrested three policemen reportedly involved in the grisly incident, while another is still absconding. Justice demands that all of them must be brought to book at the earliest and given the harshest possible punishment.

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