It is difficult for the police to reach expectations because of shortage of personnel to probe into cases. Much of the time of the police is lost in protecting people from warring groups and caste conflicts, said Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Bipin Gopalakrishna.

He was speaking on ‘Peace, Society and Police’ at the 43rd Rotary District Conference here on Saturday.

Outdated legislation

Mr. Gopalakrishna revealed that of the one lakh police personnel in the State, only 5,000 were empowered to investigate cases. The Indian police continue to follow the hierarchy like that of the British Army as it is ingrained in the Indian Police Act that gives power to a very few police personnel.

According to Mr. Gopalakrishna, a team of British researchers who visited the Criminal Investigation Department a few months ago were shocked to find that the police were following the hierarchy followed by the British Army in the past.

“Though the CID chief told the team that the police were following the British pattern, the team members refused to agree,” Mr. Gopalakrishna said.

He revealed that in the hierarchy that exists, only five per cent of the police personnel have to do the work of 95 per cent of police.

Mr. Gopalakrishna underlined the need for making changes in the Indian Police Act. He said that there was a need to empower constables to investigate cases. A constable should get a status that “bobbies” (nickname of policemen) in Britain get. “The Prime Minister in Britain sends his condolence message to family of a dead constable. But in India the death of a constable does not get any attention. He does not even have any place to sit in the police station,” he said.

According to him, only when constables are given the authority and the power to conduct investigations into cases will it be possible for the Police Department to fulfil the aspirations of the people.

The police official also spoke at length on the panic exodus of people of the northeast from various cities and explained how difficult a time the police had in tackling the situation. He also said that during the exodus the police lost a lot of time in providing security to northeast Indians.

Advice to Rotarians

Mr. Gopalakrishna suggested that every Rotarian should talk about peace. Each citizen should be disciplined and should ensure that he does not disturb anybody else. People should strive to maintain peace.

The three-day conference of the Rotary District 3180 was earlier inaugurated by K.R. Ravindran, the Past Rotary International Director from Colombo.

Well-known human resource trainer Vijaya Menon spoke on ‘Extending hands and building destinies’.

Humorist Gangavati Pranesh and the former Secretary to the Government of India and writer P.D. Shenoy also delivered talks on the occasion.

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