Hold top brass responsible for oppressive policing: US expert

SRINAGAR: The higher-ups should be held responsible for actions of their subordinates to end ‘oppressive policing’, an American expert said Monday.
“Best remedy against oppressive policing is to hold those at the helm of affairs responsible for the acts committed by their subordinates,” said Dr Robert D Hanser, coordinator of Criminal Justice programme at University of Louisiana at Monroe, told a gathering at Central University of Kashmir here.
Dr Hanser, who along with Dr Diana Bruns of Southeast Missouri State University, is here to deliver extension lectures to the students, made the statement in response to a question from a law student at the end of his lecture.
Avoiding any direct reference to Kashmir in his answer to the question that seemed relevant to method of policing followed in the Valley, Dr Hanser said, “Policing bereft of human rights content criminalizes a society as it invokes negative reactions and defiance of population.”
In past more than two decade, the police and paramilitary forces in the Valley have been facing umpteen allegations of committing human rights abuses like custodial killings, fake encounter killings, disappearances, tortures, harassments, and brutal baton charges on processions and rallies.
In action against civilian protesters, for instance, use of otherwise prohibited pellet guns by police and paramilitary forces have injured 91 individuals, mostly teenagers and youth, between March 2010 to 2013. According to the data furnished by the SMHS Hospital here, 36 of the pellet injury cases had received pellets in their eyes.
It has earning the state forces a bad name in the Valley, an outcome summed up by another indirect remark from the US expert.
“When policing becomes brutal, it is bound to invoke retaliations,” Dr Hanser said.
Both Dr Hanser and Dr Bruns, who lecture revolved around gender issues, faced questions from the students on subjects like Guantanamo Bay and Aafia Siddiqui.
“Guantanamo Bay is a blot on the normal mode of criminal administration of justice,” Dr Hanser said. “It can’t be justified by any standards of normative framework of criminal justice system.”