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Rudrapur incident: Mere suspension of guilty cops not enough

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By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 28 Jul: Uttarakhand Police has suspended three police officials after the incident of them stabbing a youth with a bike key became viral. ADG, Law & Order, Ashok Kumar ordered suspension of three policemen who allegedly stabbed the youth in his forehead with a bike key. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also took cognisance of the incident and directed the ADG, Law and Order, to take appropriate action against the guilty policemen. The bigger question is whether suspending the policemen and ordering a probe into the incident is sufficient! Suspension is hardly any punishment as, after sometime, it will be revoked and they will be back in service.
The incident occurred yesterday evening around 8 p.m. in Rudrapur (Udham Singh Nagar district). As per the information available, three cops belonging to the City Patrol Unit (CPU) allegedly took the key from the man’s bike and stabbed it into his forehead after an argument broke out when he was stopped. Though the police claimed that the young man had violated traffic rules by not stopping when asked to do so, this can hardly be any reason to justify the ghastly crime that was committed by the policemen. According to the police, the youth was not wearing a helmet and was stopped by the CPU personnel. They allegedly took the key from his bike and stabbed it into his forehead after an argument broke out between him and them. Photographs show the man standing with the key in his bleeding forehead. He has been admitted to a hospital. After reports of the incident went viral on social media, the three officials were suspended on the orders of senior Uttarakhand police officer Ashok Kumar. A probe has been launched.
When the CPU was first set up in Dehradun by the Police some years ago, its personnel created an image of being well behaved and soft spoken. Soon after, however, the CPU was set up in several districts with significant urban population and the incidents of CPU’s misbehaviour and even extortion from the young men and women started making news. Although there is no provision under any existing law for the CPU, no top police officer has dared to dismantle the unit, particularly even after such incidents have occurred regularly. The declared purpose of the CPU was a unit to patrol the cities and keep a tab on crime. Crimes like street robbery, chain snatching, drug peddling and theft have increased sharply over past few years but not a single major crime has been solved or prevented by the CPU anywhere in the state. Armed with a bike and geared up like policemen in Western countries, these CPU units have restricted themselves to harassing youth going on two wheelers. Few, if at all CPU personnel are seen managing traffic during traffic jams or during peak traffic hours but can easily be seen parked in lanes and bylanes with little traffic and harassing the youth riding two wheelers.
Monday’s incident of stabbing the youth is a serious crime but doubts are already being raised whether any serious probe will happen into the incident and the guilty policemen punished for a crime that is totally unacceptable in a democracy.