fifty years ago December 2, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (December 2, 1971): Anti-social activities in Rajasthan

It is not dacoity, robbery, murder or theft which is giving the Rajasthan police a trying time. It is the student and the worker who are turning police officials’ hair permanently grey. In 1966 and 1967, there were only nine and four students’ agitations respectively. These figures jumped to 69 in 1968, 119 in 1969 and 97 in 1970. Similarly, labour agitations, which were limited to below 25 before 1968, jumped to the century mark in 1969 and 1970. Not far behind these two categories of troublemakers are the politicians, whose agitations were below a dozen in 1966 but have now, in the last two years, reached the half-century level. The problem with handling this type of law-breaker is that the police are practically hamstrung because of political implications and have to tread extremely warily. Too often has police action in such cases resulted in judicial enquiries which have embarrassed the police to no small extent. Consequently, in dealing with students, workers or politicians on the rampage, the police tend to be overcautious, which is not at all conducive to the maintenance of law and order. A case in point is the gherao of the Vice-Chancellor of Jodhpur University by students some time ago. The police refused to break the gherao on the plea that such action would aggravate the situation.

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