India needs ease of policing’, better training and infrastructure to tackle the cases of torture. Discuss

Published: October 21, 2019

The Indian police system is in dire need of an upgrade and reforms. These reforms will go way in addressing the cases of torture and will give more humane touch to the police force.

Infrastructure

  • Majority of the police stations in rural areas lack even the basic technology, forensic aid and materials for crime detection.
  • Most of them are located in signal gap zones, where mobile phones barely work and internet connectivity is weak or non-existent.
  • The roads are unmotorable.
  • In large states, a single big police station looks after 70 to 80 villages.
  • The building infrastructures in these stations are also poor and unliveable.
  • Police working in these dreadful circumstances are themselves leaving in torture.

Overworked Police Force

  • Due to a severe manpower deficit, India’s police force is grossly overworked.
  • The heavy pendency of work coupled with brazen political interference results in inordinately high work stress.
  • The police are under pressure to improve the crime detection rate.
  • All this, regrettably, does make the police lose patience in trying to bring cases to a quick culmination.

Structural Reforms

  • Structural reforms like separation of the law and order and investigation wings at police stations, strengthening the prosecution apparatus and provision of legal advisors in the district police set up will enable the police supervisory structures to reduce torture to a great extent.
  • A sustained focus on Ease of Doing Policing and measures for empowering the police within a well-established accountability framework could prove to be the biggest step towards reducing this practice.
  • The recruitment process must be equipped with modern psychoanalytical tools to shun the entry of those with a grain of brutality. This will go a long way in weeding out the instinct to torture from the core of the system.

Way Forward

Even though ratification of the UN convention against torture needs to be done, it will not be a panacea unless there is an upgrade in infrastructure, ramping up of capacities, strengthen our police force. Enacting the Prevention of Torture Bill will be just another exercise of official compliance to free our conscience.

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