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People lose faith in police


Cops act as ruling party agents

By D Bal Reddy

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the party in power in the state has been making hullabaloo about its priority to law and order in the state. Particularly, the TRS chief and chief minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao and his family has


een spearheading this campaign and always showcase the ‘SHE teams’ in support of their commitment to safety of the people.

But it seems the police department, except for the work being turned out by the SHE teams, has attained notoriety for corruption and extra-judicial practices, often resorting to cruelty besides showing reluctance towards common man’s plight.

Added to this, officers close to TRS leaders are having their field day across the state and many undeserving officers have occupied ‘plum’ posts thanks to the clout they enjoy with ruling party leaders.

For instance, one officer, who rose from the rank of Sub-Inspector was made the head of the Hyderabad city task force and is said to have amassed huge wealth during his stint. What more! He was given an extended duration of service after his retirement for the reasons best known to the pow


wers that be.

Interestingly, the task force in Hyderabad and the Special Operation Teams (SOT) in Cyberabad and Rachakonda have no legal sanctity. There is no mention of these special teams in the Police Manual. These teams were supposed to be temporary for a specific task but over a period, the police chiefs have made them permanent and there is huge competition to become the member of these special teams for obvious reasons.

Insiders say most cases handled by the task force and SOT end up in acquittal since these teams do not bother about detailed investigation. These teams simply catch the accused, seize some material and then pocket for themselves a portion of the recovery made before handing over the case to law and order police stations since these teams have no power to register and investigate a case.

Some officers working law and order police stations told The News on condition of anonymity that the officials in the task force and SOT squeeze the juice from the accused and leave the pulp to the police station. In such scenario, the officials in the law and order police station will have to bear the expenses from their pockets for processing and carrying out detailed investigation into the case. Invariably, the law and order cops file the final reports on the basis of the peripheral details given by the task force.

The law and order cops also lamented that the task force and SOT officials are not authorized to issue press releases and conduct press conferences to announce the case details. But, flouting the guidelines of the Police Manual, these teams openly send press releases and conduct press conferences, said the sulking law and order cops.

It is alleged that the task force and SOT officials have made huge money in the recent past taking advantage of the government’s


interest in curbing adulterated food and spurious seeds. It is also alleged that these teams are collecting ‘hafta’ from the people having history sheets against them.

Things are more or less same in all the districts of Telangana. Unit officers in certain districts are allegedly setting targets to their subordinates in collecting mamools as if there is no tomorrow. One police commissioner and another superintendent of police are said to have mastered this technique and raking in the moolah taking advantage of their proximity to the ruling party leaders, sources said.

While the common man is denied justice, majority of the police officials are behaving as the agents of the ruling party and their leaders. Any criticism over the corrupt and irregular practices of the ruling party and its leaders is crushed with iron hands of the police department.

Take the case of Nerella in Sircilla district where a labourer Bhumaiah was crushed to death by a speeding lorry that is used to transport sand from Mid Maneru. Residents of the surrounding villages went berserk and set a couple of lorries on fire due to which the sand mafia grew angry. Backed by the TRS leaders, the sand mafia unleashed terror on Nerella residents with the help of the uniformed agents of the TRS leaders.

Police picked up G Gopal, Balaraju, Eswar, Harish, P Bhanaiah and B Mahesh when they were sleeping through the night in their homes. All of them were either SCs or BCs. They were subjected to brutal torture and forced to confess to the crime they have not committed. Gopal suffered damage to his spinal cord.

Opposition parties gave lip service to the criticism and some activists stirred up the agitation against the atrocity committed by the police personnel. The victims of police torture are still reeling under fear. They are not able to go for work because of the physical torture and wounds from which they have not yet recovered.

Despite this, the ruling party played down the atrocities committed by the police and tried to throw the blame on the victims.

In another case, 25-year-old Budagajangam Venkatesh, who was picked up for his suspected role in pocket picking at a TRS party meeting in Yellareddipeta of Sircilla district on July 5, 2017, was subjected to brutal torture following which he died while undergoing treatment at a hospital.

It is alleged that police used third degree for nine days against Venkatesh and made him confess to the pocket pickings he did not commit. Following the death of Venkatesh, his 20-year-old wife Renuka lost her husband while their two infant kids lost their father.

Yet, there seems to be no end to the police brutality and corruption as a result of which people in Telangana have almost lost their faith in police. It is high time the top brass and the government initiate drastic measures to correct the system.





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