‘We are an 18th century force operating in the 21st century’

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KS Ram*, 40 tells Brijesh Pandey that a couple of faux pas can’t be used to portray the police as an insensitive institution

KS Ram
Illustration: Rishab Arora

The Noida Police is in the news again. For all the wrong reasons. A few weeks ago, a 17-year-old girl was gangraped by five boys in the satellite city. In a major faux pas, the Noida SP revealed the victim’s identity at a press conference. Though he was criticised for the lapse and faces an inquiry, it once again highlighted the insensitive side of the police. A middle-level officer posted in Noida talks about why the force is unable to mend its ways. Excerpts.

Why do cops behave insensitively towards rape victims?
I don’t buy that argument completely. Yes, there have been errors but you can’t treat some isolated incidents as the norm. Even in the case that you are referring to, all the accused were arrested immediately.

Why are such incidents on the rise?
If you want an honest answer, then I would also hold the girl and her parents equally responsible. The bastards who committed the crime should be punished but we have to also look at the fact that the girl and the boy were known to each other. She willingly went to meet him and this was not the first time that they were meeting alone. On that unfortunate night, the situation went out of control. I would also like to ask the parents how come they allowed the girl to go out all alone. Were they aware where she was going. Wasn’t it their responsibility to keep a tab on her? Too much independence in the name of modern culture is not justified.

What about this modern culture that you aren’t comfortable with?
This is my second year in Noida and it took me a while to get adjusted to the culture of some sectors here, which are more in sync with south Delhi. The kind of crowds that come to the pubs and malls are such that I’m surprised that physical assault is not the order of the day. I’m not trying to justify rape or assault but I also believe that it is the duty of both the boys and girls to behave responsibly. The media covers only rapes but many a time we have caught young couples getting cosy in cars in isolated stretches of these villages. What is the need to indulge in such activity?

Are you trying to say that a girl invites rape because of what she wears or how she conducts herself?
Not at all. But parents should closely monitor the kind of clothes their daughters are wearing. Indecent clothing does provoke people and it is unfortunate if somebody loses his mental balance and commits a crime. I’m not trying to defend the act, but then the girls should also realise that if something can provoke somebody, they should try not to do it. Go to the mall and pubs and you will be shocked to see how brazenly these kids behave — openly drinking and dancing. We come across so many cases in which assaults have taken place under the influence of alcohol and people don’t come forward to report them. What about those crimes? Are we responsible for that as well?

But isn’t there a lack of trust in the police force?
Maybe. But how do you discount the fact that it happened because you were not in your senses and it happened with someone you knew intimately. Will you blame the police for that? It’s easy to criticise us but please spare a thought for the constraints we work in. We are an 18th century force operating in the 21st century.

*Name Changed To Protect Identity

Brijesh Pandey is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.
[email protected]

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Article first published on 31 Mar 2012.

9 COMMENTS

  1. We need to be honest about the fact that we can not protect women in Delhi from medieval mindsets. Just declare a curfew for women after dark. Problem solved. And I mean all women. No rich ladies in cars, no moms shopping with husbands. Nothing. In fact women should declare it themselves. For a month or 3. See if the quality of policing does not change when business feels the pinch.

  2. If the crime is committed and the perpetrator is not caught and or the case is not properly followed by the police, then it is a surely a police problem. No amount of police, don’t matter how well trained they are can’t stop all the crimes from happening. To just blame police for every crime in the city can’t be justified. The citizens need to responsible for their own action too. It is mainly the justice system in India that is to be blamed for not processing the cases of the victims. I am Not saying that the police is doing a good job but it’s a combination of corruption, lack of pride, politics and the justice system to be blamed collectively for this failure of security in the city. Hope come election time the citizens still remember this incident and vote accordingly. Afraid by that time no one would remember this…..

  3. “Are you trying to say that a girl invites rape because of what she wears or how she conducts herself?”

    Not at all. But parents should closely monitor the kind of clothes their daughters are wearing. Indecent clothing does provoke people and it is unfortunate if somebody loses his mental balance and commits a crime.

    I’m not trying to defend the act, but then the girls should also realise that if something can provoke somebody, they should try not to do it.”

    Hahaha. I suppose I should not be surprised that this idiot thinks “not at all” means “yes, entirely.”

  4. why is his identity being protected? he should be exposed as a threat to women himself. with such narrow minded people in uniform, how can women feel safe? and how does he explain men raping school kids and 5 yr old babies? do they dress provocatively too?

    • totally agree..this idiot is saying that exposed flesh is the reason for rape.Well in that case what do old woman, infants and toddler exposed to titilate these sickos? total BS

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