Skip to main content

Maharashtra polls: Advocacy groups want police reforms, representation to women, SCs, STs, minorities

By Our Representative
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Delhi, and Police Reforms Watch (PRW), Mumbai, will be launching an eighteen-day campaign on September 26 in order to “catalyze” voters in Maharashtra, and especially in the city of Mumbai, to “vote for a representative and a party that commits to and is vested in better policing in the state.” In a statement, the two advocacy groups have said, this is being done ahead of the state elections, scheduled on October 15, in order to “blow the whistle for police reforms in Maharashtra.”
The programmes contemplated include a 19 seconds cinema slide in 56 cinema halls four times a day starting on September 26, and ending on October 10, 2014 in 56 cinema halls of Mumbai where. Especially designed by the two NGOs, each slide has a message with the catch phrase 'I am Mumbai...’ A second programme is radio messages which will go live between October 6 and 13, 2014 on three FM radios -- Radio City (91.1) , Radio Fever (104) and Big FM-92.7. The message asks “Mango, Mango, Mango Kaun Dega Sacha Police Sudhar...” (demand, who will deliver police reforms?).
Then there will be a campaign on social media on similar lines. A Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FixPolicingNow already exists, with more than 51,000 followers. Proposing to turn it into “a platform for healthy debates and discussions” ahead of the Maharashtra polls, the NGOs says, it will “gear towards crystallizing public opinion online for better policing in Maharashtra for the upcoming polls.”
A major hallmark of the campaign, said the NGOs, is the whistle. Every message whether radio or the cinema Slides begins with the sound of whistle and also ends with it. Asking people to “come and join us in our campaign for making policing an issue in the forthcoming Maharashtra polls”, it wants voters to "blow the whistle in favour of police reforms".
The campaigners have launched a website, www.policereformswatch.org which will go live on September 27, 2014, and provide details of all the activities for 18 days. Meanwhile, they have drafted a people's manifesto for better policing, titled “Ten Giant Steps to Police Reforms in Maharashtra”, which they want the political parties in the fray to commit to, if they are truly vested in better policing.
The manifesto insists on the need to “prioritize the recruitment of women, minorities and scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs).” It says, “Maharashtra has the highest number of women police, yet it is still to fulfil the Centre’s directive of 33% reservation of women in the police. Police personnel from SCs represent only 11.09% of the police, when the reservation is 13%. Likewise, other backward classes (OBCs) constitute only 11.16% when the actual reservation is 19%. Since there is no data available on the percentage of minorities, we urge the parties to make the representation of minorities in the police a priority issue”.
The police reforms demanded by the NGOs include setting up a woman and child protection desk staffed by women police personnel to record complaints of crimes against women and children; demand to comply with the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) advisories and standing orders on crimes against women; need to separate investigation from the law and order functions; adoption of eight hour duty norm in the civil police; end of misuse of police personnel for non-policing work; and prohibition of ill-treatment and custodial torture.
The manifesto wants repeal of the Maharashtra Police (Amendment and Continuance) Act, 2014, as it allegedly “dilutes and circumvents the Supreme Court order on police reforms”. In fact, it says, the Act was “passed without much debate and discussion when the house was not full.” It insists on the need to a new police Act for the state that would “incorporate element of good policing with active consultations with people from all walks of life from all over the state.”
---
Click HERE for text of the manifesto

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.