Criminals in uniform: 772 Kerala policemen facing serious charges
Recently, the Justice Narayana Kurup Commission, inquiring into the Nedumkandam custodial death said that deaths in police custody will not end unless the policemen are dismissed from service. Rajkumar's death in the Nedumkandam jail is a recent example of police brutality. The latest figures show that 772 of the accused in criminal cases were policemen.
Murder accused, child molesters, sexual harassment cases, misbehaviour with women, taluk cases, stabs, custody death cases ... you see them in court or read about them all the time. But this is about another lot: officers and men [and some women] of the Kerala police against whom there are criminal cases. There are 772 of them still in service. The information comes from a list prepared by the police headquarters on criminal cases against police officers. The list ranges from DySP [deputy superintendent of police] rank officers to civil police officers. There are eight women police officers on the list. Most of the people on the list are civil police officers [i.e. policemen in the rank of constable].
Earlier, the chief minister's office said that there were 1,129 such accused in criminal cases. In addition, during this period, the government also ordered the enforcement of major punishments against 967 people. This is the situation after that.
Police officers involved in criminal offences should be immediately suspended. If the offence is proven, they should be removed from service after being give the opportunity to prove their innocence.
Section 86 (1), Police Act
The law, however, does not enforce it strictly against the police. Police officers facing criminal charges are the most prevalent in Thiruvananthapuram Rural district: 110. There are 84 policemen facing charged in Thiruvananthapuram city, 50 policemen in Kochi city and 18 policemen in Kozhikode city. A year ago, 59 policemen were identified as involved in serious crimes. There are now 12 people on that list. The main complaint is that the police are in the habit of shielding officers, and that the investigations are delayed for a long time.
In 2011, under the direction of the Kerala High Court, the government set up a committee headed by an ADGP [Additional Director General of Police] to identify culprits. Accordingly, 1,129 police officers were found to be accused in criminal cases. This included 10 DYSPs, 46 CIs [circle inspectors] and 230 SIs[sub inspectors]. The Human Rights Commission of India has demanded action against them under Section 86 (1) of the Police Act.
Subsequently, a five-member committee headed by the DGP, which examined the matter, replied that the police had only taken into account 350 cases. The DGP explained that the police werre in the process of investigating and prosecuting the accused, but could not take any action unless the court finds them guilty. DGP Loknath Behera gave this information to the Human Rights Commission in November2018.