The district police remembered paramilitary and police officers who laid down their lives in the line of duty at a sombre ceremony to mark Police Commemoration Day at the Martyrs’ Memorial in the city on Wednesday.

Of the 833 police personnel who died in the line of duty in 2008-09, 10 were from the State. At the ceremony, which was attended by the top police brass, the police officers’ names and circumstances of death were read out.

Guest of honour Principal District and Sessions Judge H.R. Deshpande, expressed concern over the increase in the number of police officers who were dying in the line of duty: “Our rapidly changing internal security scenario is resulting in the deaths of more police personnel every year,” he said. It was also a worrying social scenario, he said.

Better policing

Mr. Deshpande also stressed the need for re-inventing the role of the police in a society whose internal security was at threat. The force should forge closer ties with the general public and present its human face to win the confidence and support of the people, he said.

Later, interacting with top police officers, Mr. Deshpande offered advice on how law enforcement forces could strengthen its relationship with the judiciary in order to achieve a better conviction rate.

Pointing to the fact that the accused often fled when conviction was impending, he said, “The police must keep track of the accused at all times. The accused has to be present during the conviction or else it defeats the entire legal process.”

He said that police officers often tended to forget that the cases they were handling the moment they got transferred elsewhere. “I can very well understand the pressures they face, but as far as possible they must try to follow-up on cases that they handled in the past and help the officers who take over from them, ” he said.

Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Gopal B. Hosur asked the police to check the growth “communal goondas” without any bias and “irrespective of their religion and caste.” He said that communal goondas often leave the country after being let off on bail. “All attempts must be made to keep them in the country and prevent them from absconding,” he said.

Police quarters

Mr. Hosur also requested Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj to remedy the alleged pathetic condition of the police constables’ quarters in Pandeshwar.

He suggested that the condition of the quarters could be improved through existing schemes or under the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation scheme.

Using such schemes the police quarters could be improved to become a model settlement. “The state of the constables’ quarters makes us senior officers feel very guilty for enjoying the privileges we get in contrast. We hope that something significant will be done in your tenure,” he told Mr. Ponnuraj.

Mr. Ponnuraj assured Mr. Hosur that steps would be taken towards the same.

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