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 Crime in uniform: How Madhya Pradesh police’s dubious record evades scrutiny

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Bhopal: Blame it on the hidden political agenda of media players or call it selective bias, the case of Madhya Pradesh, when it comes to crime, is intriguing indeed. While Uttar Pradesh hogs the media limelight for crime perpetrated by police officials and crime against women, similar cases in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh manage to evade scrutiny.

]Representational image. PTI Representational image. PTI

The numbers first: Last year, as many as 9,297 complaints were registered against police officials in Madhya Pradesh for crimes of different kinds. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Maharashtra came a distant second with 7280 complaints against its police officials. Only 920 complaints were taken up for departmental, magisterial or judicial inquiry. Only one case went for judicial inquiry. In as many as 8,335 cases, the complaints were dismissed as false or unsubstantiated. Only 50 cases were registered and departmental action taken in 45 cases while 11 were considered fit for trail or chargesheet.

For three successive years the state has led the graph for crime against women with 4,335 cases of rape. This year, in the first quarter itself, as many as 1106 cases have been registered. Police officers have figured conspicuously in cases of crime against women. In the last couple of months at least four high-ranked policemen have either been accused of rape or sexual exploitation or abetment to murder after sexual atrocities.

Here are a few recent cases involving uniformed personnel: A constable of the CISF is battling for life in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. She had shot herself in the stomach on 5 August in Bhopal after alleging molestation by her deputy commandant. As her condition deteriorated she was flown to Delhi. Police in Bhopal have recorded her statement but have avoided filing an FIR. She is said to have accused her superior of touching her inappropriately. The accused remains free.

Earlier this month a woman filed an FIR with the Jaipur police accusing an assistant inspector general of police of Madhya Pradesh of raping her. The latter allegedly raped her several times on the pretext of helping her husband in the case and also clicked some pictures of her daughter and niece to blackmail her. The state government has suspended him pending investigations.

In another case, a senior superintendent of police is facing the charge of adultery following complaint by his wife. The former, accused of an extra-marital affair with a junior colleague, has been shifted to Bhopal. An additional director general of women’s cell is probing the case.

A town police inspector has been absconding for more than two months after the suicide of his live-in partner. The police have announced an award on his head and he faces confiscation of property.

The roll of dishonour is pretty long. Mayank Jain, an IPS officer whose house was raided a couple of months ago for disproportionate assets, faced a complaint from his wife for harassment. Ashish Pawar a senior inspector was removed from prime posting for alleged illicit relations. Akhilesh Mishra, another senior inspector was removed from a plum posting after his wife’s serious allegations against him before the DG of police. RK Chaturvedi who retired as additional director general found himself in the dock after his wife reported him for domestic violence.

Two other senior officers are facing action for involvement in the professional examination board scam. Suspended DIG RK Shivhare, accused in PEB scam, has been in the custody of the STF since he surrendered in April. The police had announced a reward of Rs 3,000 after he evaded arrest for several months. Shivhare’s daughter and son-in-law were accused for fraudulent admission in the post graduate courses through PEB. Shivhare is said to have paid millions of rupees for their admission. Ajay Singh Pawar, another suspended police inspector wanted in connection with the scam, was arrested in July after several months of effort. He carried a reward of Rs 10,000 on his head.

When people manning the police force make news for committing crime, it reflects the quality of policing. In Madhya Pradesh, numbers tell the story.

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