Huge welcome to home minister`s promise to reform police dept


IMPHAL, April 11 (Newmai News Network): The question that the people of Manipur is asking today about the new home minister of the state is-can he deliver the goods, after all the promises of streamlining and reforming the police department and dispensation of appropriate punishment regardless of who or what the guilty persons might be?

After being sworn in as the home minister of the state, which has been mostly held by Chief Ministers, Gaikhangam who is also the present president of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, has been stating about reforming and streamlining the police department to make it more people friendly and disciplined, and the prompt action taken up against those security personnel involved in criminal activities, have been sending out the right message.

In connection with the resolve of the new home minister to reform and streamline the police department, Newmai News Network met some prominent citizens of the state from different walks of life for their opinions, advices and desire to improve the workings of the police department so as to make it a people friendly one.

Dr. Dhanabir Laishram, an academician and professor in Manipur University, said that since the people of the state have voted the Congress party to power for the third consecutive time, it is the duty of the elected government to fulfill the desire of the people and that is to stop the killings in the state and to safe-guard the human rights of the people. Hailing Gaikhangam as a good and popular leader of the hills and valley, Dr. Dhanabir expressed that a new atmosphere will be brought about in the home department under his guidance and leadership with honest and positive work.

Babloo Loitongbam, a human rights activist, said that the statement of the new home minister to bring about a positive change in the police department is appreciable, “but the statements must be followed by appropriate action to make the public believe in the sincerity of the new home minister.” He said that there should be accountability in the police department and effort should be made to improve the police-public relationship. Babaloo also said that there is a need for more judicial inquiries instead of magisterial inquiries so as to deliver justice quickly to the public.

The secretary of Women Action for Development, Sobita said that the commitment expressed by the new home minister to bring positive change in the home department and the booking of guilty security personnel involved in criminal activities is appreciated, but there is still a lot of work to be done, such as reviewing the pending cases of the last 5/6 years, especially those involving women and children. She said that charge sheets are often not filed in most cases in Manipur and the investigation work of the police is not satisfactory. She also stated that state police and security forces are mostly deployed in the valley districts while their deployment in the hill districts is very less, and the recruitment of these state forces are also mostly from the valley areas which needs to be changed. Sobita opined that with proper screening of candidates regarding their education, moral, discipline, etc., involvement of police and security personnel in crimes like extortion, rape, smuggling, etc. can be brought down.
She said the sincerity and honesty of police and security personnel will also improve immensely if bribery can be checked at the time of recruitment of police and security personnel.

Khaidem Mani, advocate said that police-public relationship must improve, and for these to happen seminars, workshops and other forms of exchange of views between public leaders and police officers should be organized so as to bridge the gap between public and police. He said that the home minister has a huge responsibility in bringing a positive change in the police department by not being influenced by any internal or external power while taking up corrective measures in the home department. When the police personnel become anti-social by being involved in crimes it is a symptom of the downfall of the society, and this malice is due to the corruption during the time of recruitment of police and security personnel, said Khaidem Mani. The police or security personnel who are involved in criminal activities are trying to recover the huge amount paid at the time of recruitment to ensure their appointment regardless of their qualifications and abilities, and in the process also spoiling the reputation of the who
le force some of whom are sincerely carrying out their duties and responsibilities, added the advocate.

Among the journalistic community, the editor of Huiyen Lanpao (English edition) Satyajit Usham observed that Gaikhangam is the second home minister after I. Tompok who is not the Chief Minister too. The portfolio of the home minister comes with great responsibilities, and the statement of the new home minister to bring reformation for positive change in the police department, though appreciable, is a tough job and it remains to be seen if he can really bring a positive change, said the editor.

The editor of The Sangai Express (English edition) Hijam Rajesh said that in order to bring about a better and friendlier police-public relationship, it is necessary to first get rid of the police arrogance in their dealings with the public. In this regard the training of the police personnel can be designed to bring about the desired results and the Manipur Police Training School has a big role to play in this endeavor, said Rajesh. He further added that the background of the candidates also should be checked besides physical fitness, qualification, etc and corruption should not allowed be at the time of recruitment of police personnel. Any reform should involve officials at the top as well as the lowly constables, and reformation should not be mistaken for booking and punishment of police personnel involved in criminal activities, Rajesh added.


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