District police records show that at least 10 cases were registered against policemen, writes S. Sundar

“Every one is equal before the law”, says Superintendent of Police V.Balakrishnan. But this would include policemen as well. Often, men in khaki have figured among the law breakers.

Take the case of Armed Reserve police constable Venkatesan, attached to Sellur police station, who was arrested and remanded recently for his alleged role in the kidnap of a businessman. It was first said that he had only tried to help recover Rs.2 lakh the businessman owed his friend. But investigations revealed that the constable was complicit in the kidnap, an officer claimed.

The district police records for the last three years show that at least 10 cases — ranging from petty quarrel with neighbours to stealing, dowry harassment and kidnap — have been registered against police personnel.

"When people come with a complaint against the police, we have to register it. This only shows that the police are fair in dealing with people involved in illegal activity," Mr.Balakrishnan, says. While many of the cases centred on dowry harassment and land disputes, there were some cases of policemen involved in fatal accidents. In some of the cases, they had tried to misuse their official power, the SP said.

Mr. Balakrishnan said that if people involved in enforcing law were not corrected, they not only spoil the image of the force in the eyes of the public, but also make people lose their faith in the system.

The Kalligudi police had arrested J. Sathish Kumar, an Armed Reserve policeman from Virudhunagar, for illegally ferrying fuses that were meant for producing crackers without proper licence last year. Within a few months, the man in khaki was masterminding highway robberies in Virudhunagar district.

A Special Sub-Inspector of Police at Melur was booked for stealing Rs.13,000 that fell from the possession of a fellow constable on the police station premises. "The SSI had not learnt a lesson even after he was transferred from another station on the complaint of misappropriating money from an accused," the SP said.

The Chekkanoorani police had arrested an Armed Reserve (Cuddalore) woman police constable for cheating. She had impersonated and appeared for someone else in the 10th public examination after taking money.

The SP said that counselling of police personnel was being done at regular intervals to ensure they behave properly with the public. But when they try to outsmart others, they have to face the legal consequences.

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