The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Parting shot from top cop
- DIG’s farewell plainspeak blows lid on police home truths
Absentee landlord' A policeman missing at a traffic post in Calcutta’s business district. File picture

Calcutta, March 1: A policeman with a robust reputation retired on Sunday, leaving Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s police department red in the face after the customary farewell address.

Abani Joardar, the deputy inspector-general in charge of the police training college at Barrackpore, chose to mark his last working day by highlighting the gradual diminution of the force. The critical appraisal of his colleagues and juniors also provided an insight into the working of the department.

Joardar said policemen have to take an oath to protect democracy and the rights of people while joining the force, but most conveniently choose to forget it as time spent in the service chisels away the noble values in most officers.

Gradually, even good policemen tend to forget that their duty is to help the people and uphold the law, Joardar said. He added that policemen relish the taste of authority and the power that comes with it. These distractions keep them from performing conscientiously and make them pursue selfish ends to further their own career, Joardar said.

He also hinted that it has almost become a norm for sincere policemen not to prosper within the force, while self-serving officers line up promotions and sully the atmosphere for those who want to perform to the best of their abilities.

“I urge you (cadets and junior officers) not to be disheartened at the current state of affairs… For you the challenge is to remain honest and impartial,” Joardar said on the police training college campus.

To drive the point home, he cited the recent People’s War and Maoist Communist Centre attacks on policemen in Purulia’s Bandwan and West Midnapore’s Belpahari. Good policemen, he said, would often die trying to carry out their responsibility while those who spent their time scheming their way up the administrative ladder reinforced their authority and grew even more powerful.

The landmine attacks that killed several policemen were a glaring example of the fact that the people had lost faith in the police, he said, adding that residents who knew about the mines sat at a nearby teastall as the police vehicles drove into the death-traps. “They did not feel that the police were protecting their interests,” he added.

Without naming anyone, Joardar slammed senior officers who emphasise on “community policing” and “police-public interface” but end up doing little.

Hardworking investigating officers slave for years without promotion. Seeing less-deserving officers prosper only serves to demotivate good ones, Joardar said. But he urged young officers to strive to remove obstacles.

Home secretary Amit Kiran Deb, to whom Joardar reported, declined comment on the retired policeman’s remarks.

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