The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 5 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Beware policemen, big cop is watching

Head for the Patna SSP’s office if any police station refuses to accept an FIR next time. The senior policeman will stand beside you, as you talk to the officer concerned live through videoconferencing.

Ten days ago, Patna police began connecting all women’s police stations via video conferencing. “The facility would soon be extended to all police stations of Patna. They will be connected through video conferencing and one can talk to the police station house officer (SHO) or any officer at the police station, live,” SSP Manu Maharaaj told The Telegraph.

“These days, a lot of people complain against police officers during janata durbars. Either their FIRs were not accepted or arrests not made despite warrants and instructions from senior police officers,” a police officer said.

“Senior police officers have specifically directed SHOs to be at their seats for at least an hour to meet people and listen to their complaints. And yet, the crowd of complainants outside SSP’s office remains large. They keep complaining that officers do not listen to them, abuse them and at times ask them to go and complain against them to their superiors. Video-conferencing system would help deal with such complaints. A face-to-face interaction with the top cop would also expose the lie of the cop or the complainant.

“If the SSP seeks clarity on a case brought before him, he can make the complainant talk to the SHO concerned in front of the SSP. A policeman would find it difficult to tell a lie or refute allegations, if they are true, in front of a senior police officer. Any complainant can question the officer in front of the SSP. This system will make policemen serious about attending to complaints. The prospect of having to face the SSP anytime would make them serious,” the officer said.

A lot of issues were arising at women’s police stations and thus the system was started there first. “Regular policing apart, officers at police stations also have to provide counselling when a couple arrives with a marital problem. But there have been many complaints about officers not handling such cases properly. Either complainants are abused or their grievances not addressed properly. Hence the system was first introduced there,” the officer said.

Soon, video-conferencing facility would be extended to major police stations like Kotwali, Gandhi Maidan and Pirbahore before it is extended to all police stations.