Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Oh No! it's the po-po...
The Indian po-po (police) are badly in need of a makeover, from their uniforms to their values.
Sure, there are many honest cops here but i think they occur in the same ratio as albinos : normal skinned people.
By now, everyone has heard of the disgusting case of lax policing that occurred in Noida. That is an extreme case. However, I know and have spoken to many people here who have been the victims of a crime - i.e., from a maid stealing some jewelry to actual home-invasion style mugging, and they have either reported it to the police and regretted it, or they have chosen not to report it to the police because they don't want the hassle.
What happens is police shortlist suspects, and depending upon the severity of their alleged crimes, rough them up to get a confession. With that confession, they go back to the victim and ask them if they want to proceed with the case, and usually ask for compensation for the trouble they took to get this far in the case.
What is even more appalling is that if you have a beef against somebody, you can just implicate them in a police complaint. You pay the police some money to do the ugly business, and the cops find the person, bring them to the station for "booking," but they never do book them, instead they take them to a part of the station where no one ever goes and beat and torture the living daylights out of them for the time requested by the paying customer. I know of two such incidents.
A very sweet man who has worked for our family for 15 years has been a victim of this unofficial vengeance system. He is unhappily married and his wife will not give him a divorce (she is Christian) and tries to get the most money out of him all the time (like any good wife, right? :). She beats him regularly, and has even had her father beat him. He doesn't like this treatment, so naturally he found another woman who treats him sweetly. When he did that, his mother-in-law paid the police a few thousand rupees to have him picked up and beaten the crap out of.
I am tempted to pay the equivalent to have the mother-in-law beaten up.
Another man is a well-educated, professional. I only got glimpses of the back story (i was not in the country when it happened), but it turns out someone paid 100,000 rupees to have him picked up and beaten for three consecutive days. This was the work of an amateur "Cigarette-Smoking Man," who had a convincing false case built and published in the newspaper.... so that must mean the press is in on it, too! I guess his crime was that he lent someone a lot of money and had collected it from them, but they hadn't want to repay it at all.
So many Indians, especially the youth, have their patriotism dampened when such things occur.