Political pressure on police is not a new thing. It is often seen that political leaders make use of police personnel according to their needs. But the recent cases from Gujarat and Manipur try to put forth all what goes behind.
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Surat: The story of Sunita Yadav
Recently, a video surfaced on social media, wherein we saw a woman constable scolding a man for violating lockdown rules. The man in the video was Prakash Kanani, son of Kumar Kanani who is the Gujarat Minister of State for Health. He along with his friends was out when the curfew was imposed. When police constable, Sunita Yadav, pulled him for the violation, Kanani stressed upon the power of his father to free himself out of the situation.
Yadav was hailed on social media for taking note of such people who belong to the law-making system and then go ahead breaking the law themselves. But on the other hand, she claimed that she got no support from her seniors in the whole matter. She was asked to leave the spot.
“It’s the fault of the system that these people (like the minister’s son) think that they are VVIPs”, Yadav told a news channel.
After the incident, Prakash Kanani and his friends were arrested and were later released on bail. But Sunita Yadav had to face a transfer to the headquarters. Her fault? Punishing those who break the law! Infuriated by the political pressure, Sunita Yadav finally had to resign.
Manipur: The case of Thounaojam Brinda
After the Gujarat incident came to light, Thounaojam Brinda also came forth to express her problems with the political machinery.
Thounaojam Brinda is an officer of Manipur Police Service. She is also a recipient of the Gallantry Medal and has been awarded for her outstanding performance in busting several drug rackets.In 2018, Brinda arrested Lhukhosei Zhou, an alleged drug lord. He was also the serving chairman of the Autonomous District Council (ADC).
In a report by The New Indian Express Brinda said that after the arrest what followed was a series of persuasion by the members of the ruling party and the CM, to let go of Zhou and withdraw the chargesheet. According to the report, Brinda wrote in her affidavit that “Moirangthem Asnikumar, a vice-president of the BJP in the state, told me that the arrested ADC member turned out to be the right-hand man of CM’s wife Olice. And therefore, the CM wants him to be released”.
The matter continued for more than a year as Brinda did not pay heed to the political requests. Following which, Brinda claimed of being reprimanded by the CM. “The CM gave a thorough scolding especially directed at the SPP and me”, Brinda wrote in her affidavit.
These two cases show how lawfully discharging a duty is not as simple as it seems. The political pressure that comes on the police is something that they have to deal with regularly. This requires for strict laws to counter political intervention and ensure the impartial working of police.