Even in the eye of the storm, TS police fared well in 2019

Win laurels after the ‘exchange of fire’ in Disha case

It is difficult to judge the performance of the State police department of nearly 60,000 personnel as a unit in a year based on a few instances. Yet the heinous sexual assault and murder of a veterinarian at Shamshabad on November 27 and killing of the four accused in an ‘exchange of fire’ nine days later became the parameters for people to assess the performance of the police.

In fact, Disha’s case and two other instances of sexual assault and murder of women, one in Yellapatar of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district and another in Warangal city, raised concerns like safety of women and ‘equal response from police in all cases’.

In the case of a youngster sexually assaulting and murdering a nine-month-old baby in Warangal in June, investigators secured death sentence for the accused. However, the High Court commuted capital punishment to life imprisonment and the police planned to move the Supreme Court to challenge this order.

In the Yellapatar gang rape and murder case, the government constituted a fast-track court after vociferous demands were made by people for ‘at least a speedy trial’ in the backdrop of the killing of the four accused in Disha case.

All these cases and other crimes like outraging the modesty of women threw up questions on women’s safety in Telangana and the police response system.

These crimes against women apart, spurt in cyber crimes with multi-fold rise in users of internet and online services and hundreds of unabated road accidents claiming thousands of lives, continue to bring fresh challenges for the police.

Left Wing Extremism (LWE), which did put the entire State official machinery on tenterhooks in 80s and 90s in united Andhra Pradesh, eventually waned by the time a separate Telangana was carved out in 2014. Barring a few pockets bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, movements of armed Maoist squads are not seen anywhere.

LWE activities surely declined but are not yet completely checked.

On July 31, a member of CPI-ML (New Democracy) group of naxalites, Linganna, was killed in an exchange of fire with the police at the Rollagadda forest area of Gundala in Bhadradri Kothagudem district. After three weeks, Jadi Veeraswamy of the outlawed CPI-Maoists was gunned down during combing operations in the same district.

Continuing the battle with the armed squads in forests, police began a legal tussle by cracking down on activists of rights organisations and people’s associations, who allegedly have links with the LW extremists.

A spate of arrests of men and women from different parts of Rachakonda commissionerate kicked up a storm with some accusing the police of implicating individuals in false cases for ‘fighting democratically’.

Interestingly, 2020 is going to be eventful for police as all these sensational cases are likely to be adjudicated only in the new year.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 10:47:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/even-in-the-eye-of-the-storm-ts-police-fared-well-in-2019/article30428041.ece

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