Police Brutality: When Saviours Became the Perpetrators

We all have a great affinity towards Bollywood movies especially those where an honest yet brutal police officer beats a criminal. If one simply put this, for most of the Indians the best cops are those who beat the bad guys. The more rage he or she had and the more amenable he or she is. Bollywood's portrayal of such cops is what we expect to be the reality. But the mere glimpse of the same is horrifying.

Police brutality is not a distant term. It is common and almost everyone belonging from marginalized sections has experienced it. This brutal behavior is always left unquestioned by our " Media houses", which are the fourth pillar of democracy.

50% of Indian citizens approved police brutality. This heinous act is considered just by 36% of police officers as an alternative legal trial to minor offenses. Last year there were 427 reported custodial deaths. We don't even really know what real data is. During a nationwide protest against CAA and NRC, we observed the action of police where they abused their powers against students.

COVID 19 triggered a nationwide lockdown. Everything stands still but a week later after the announcement of lockdown, we observed countless cases where violators are being punished and people were commenting "yehi hona chaiye aise logon ke sath ". During a lockdown when police were doing inhumane acts our media houses and we altogether were glorifying these actions.

This brutal behavior is being reported now because the recent victims were neither criminal nor rapist neither they were breaking any law still they faced brutal behavior. Father and son died in the custody of the police. They were beaten, stripped naked and sodomized. Even there lawyers weren't allowed to meet them. An eyewitness reported that Benick(31-year-old son) was lying naked over the pool of blood. When Father and son were taken to the doctor by police. The doctor was allegedly pressured by the police to provide a fitness certificate. On June 22, they died after becoming severely ill. We didn't even have a glimpse of it. No prime media channel covered it.

In these cases, Article 21, which protects Life and Liberty is ignored. And section 49 of CrPC is not even considered once. Section 50 of CrPC ( information regarding the ground of arrest and rights of bail should be provided to the individual whose arrest is taking place without a warrant) is not even acknowledged.

Our concept of justice involves violence. We have a desire for the police to teach criminals lessons and this had led to the brutal behavior of the police. In 2019, custodial torture claimed the life of 1731 people in India as per "India: Annual report on torture".

It is well said, "As the king does, as all subjects".

When state and public backs up police violence, they know they can get away by torturing them or even killing them. We all are busy tweeting #blacklivesmatter over brutality in the US. But we won't stand against police brutality in our nation. Either cop will be suspended or will be transferred to another station but no strict action will take place.

Cutting down leaves doesn't cure the problem at roots. Our system is imperialistic and it is British Raj's offspring. It was designed to oppress whoever raises their violence against the ruler. Violence is running in the veins of India. It has corrupted our demands and rational behavior. These events should not surprise us now but it asks for some strict policy as those who swore to uphold the constitution are the same who are skeptical of the same.

Photo by: ev/ @ev

~ Sakshi Kumari

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