The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
We Ask You Answer
Power path paved with anarchy

Barsha Chabaria,
Address not given.

The cityís crime graph is on the rise. It is true that people are slowly losing faith in the police. At the same time, itís also undeniable that citizens are oblivious of their duties. With this in view, such a move is likely to reap benefits. It will instil a sense of responsibility for fellow beings among people. Local bodies empowered with special powers should comprise experienced persons like retired judges, defence personnel, educationists and social workers.

Govind Das Dujari,

Yes, the police should certainly involve citizens in maintaining law and order. As the police department is short of manpower, it is not possible for the cops to keep an eye on every nook and corner to avert crimes, especially in the suburbs, where the area of jurisdiction is vast. Residents can take care of their own localities under the supervision of the local police station. A team of people can be a given a crash course on security measures. The move would curb crimes, like eve-teasing and thefts.

Suyash Jaiswal,
Hungerford Street.

Let us not be deceived about the fact that the city police are incompetent to check the spurt in criminal activities. By vesting special powers in citizens, the force will be able to curb petty crimes and handle serious ones efficiently.

Sayan Ghosh,

The police itself can do little if it snaps contacts with local people. Itís vital to have good public relations in order to strengthen the police network. But empowering citizen groups with law-enforcing powers will be suicidal, as political parties will influence any issue that threatens their vested interests.

Nandini Banerjee,
Ganguly Bagan.

I donít think this would be a wise idea. Such powers belong to the state or a state-appointed agency, but canít be delegated. Citizen groups are more likely to misuse the powers, as ours is a politically-cleft society. Instead, the police should focus on co-ordinating with common people to curb crime.

Jayanta Datta,

If it is introduced, anarchy will prevail because the adage Ďmight is rightí holds good in our country. Second, political interference will creep in.

Saswati Sawati,
E.M. Bypass.

Empowering local citizen groups with law-enforcing powers would not only improve the present law and order situation but would also ensure a secure social environment. Common problems like eve-teasing, theft or harassment by local miscreants can be put under control and the local people would learn to become self-reliant and responsible. However, there always remains a possibility that such powers may be wrongly or inefficiently used. To do away with this problem, local people should be allowed to elect their own representatives to these bodies. The police should also ensure transparency in the voting process.

New Alipore.

I think the police must empower the local citizen groups with law-enforcing powers in order to deal with the local disturbances in their respective areas and also to stop the anti-social activities. If the police empower the local citizens with law enforcing powers then the anti- social activities in various areas will be stopped, and they can also tip off the police about irregularities in their respective areas.

Ballygunge Station Road.

Law and order in the city is at an ebb. To compound the problems is the fact that there is inadequate personnel in the police force. In such a scenario, itís the citizen groups in the neighbourhood which has to shoulder the burden of protecting the locality from rogues.It is high time that these groups are allowed liberty in enforcing lawful measures. The sooner it is done the better. Of course, it is also imperative that these groups be headed by a lawyer or an official of the police force.

Address not given.

No. Such a move would only backfire on the security personnel in the long run. Law-enforcing power should never be entrusted to common citizens but some amendment in law is needed to curb petty incidents. Why do the police not make things easier for people who help accident victims lying on road' Laws need to be made simpler but tougher. Will such amendments ever take place' Will the police become citizen-friendly as they were earlier'

Sounak Chakraborty

It is a good decision. The day has come to review the police activities. An honest and cool-headed citizen can be allowed to join these groups to empower the police. Otherwise, these groups will be a headache for the police force.

Rowland Road.

Yes, certainly. But the citizen groups empowered with law-enforcing powers should be educated and have the courage to deal with the situation judiciously.

anindita choudhury,

This is a welcome move. But much depends on how reliable and responsible the local citizen group would prove to be. If they start taking the law in their own hands, then definitely things would start turning sour for the police. But if this programme is undertaken seriously, it would also show unemployed youths in the localities a positive approach to life.

Send your views to
The Telegraph (Metro),
6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700001. Fax: 2225-8112f
E-mail: [email protected]

Email This Page