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Centre’s apathy as police reforms gather dust even after ten years

Nearly 20 years after two senior policemen first filed a PIL and a decade after the Supreme Court delivered a landmark verdict requiring central and state governments to implement its seven directives kick starting measures in accountability and law enforcement in India’s police force that continues to function on the legacy of colonial British Raj, the case for police reforms continues to gather dust.

At a conference on September 23, organized by the Indian Police Foundation and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative to mark the failure of the SC verdict, no assurances emerged from the Central government to ensure effective compliance of the directives that will effectively throttle the existing ‘police-politician nexus’ which abuses and misuses the police and restore independent functioning of the police force.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju who attended the conference as a chief guest avoided in making any commitments on behalf of the ministry or as a member of the ruling BJP government. “There is a need for reforms not just in police force but in various sectors in judiciary, administration and more importantly in the mindset of the people.

Reformation should be in complete society,” said the junior minister for Home Affairs in-charge of the Indian Police Service, Central Police Organisations and Central Armed Police Force dealing with the internal security of the country. He added it was the absolute responsibility of the government to see police reforms take place positively, but refused to elaborate on what steps will be taken and by when.

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