Role of police and other paramilitary personnel while operating in the trouble torn Kashmir Valley has been debated time and again. And most of the times the debate has centered on their action against the combatants and more importantly against the non-combatants.
However, during the past few years the role of police personnel have been questioned several times by the locals, human rights activists and even the political class. The role has been questioned over several excesses that at times comes to fore leading to a scare like situation among the masses in general and the youth in particular.
It was in this back drop that the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti while chairing a meeting of top police officers the other day asked the police to be more relaxed and humane in dealing with the situations. The Chief Minister advised the force to act as an institution of public reassurance rather than a cause of fear among the masses.
So can we say that the force is missing a compassionate and responsive approach with the general population who are law abiding citizens? If this is the case then the police needs to have a relook into the way they have been functioning. The humane approach will not only ensure that the criminal element would automatically be isolated but the attitudinal change would make the crime eradication in the society much easy and also improve the image of the force in the eyes of the public.
We have experienced several cases of police high handedness where the youth ultimately chose the path of violence either to break himself free or run away from the system that the young mind felt, will not let him move around freely.
Even the Chief Minister felt the need for addressing the issue as she also asked the police personnel to follow a social catharsis approach while dealing with youth which would persuade them not to venture on the path of violent waywardness.
This also brings us to an important part where the police or any other paramilitary force breaches the Standard Operating Procedure, while dealing with a situation during carrying out operations. These cases may be isolated but these cases should in no way be ignored and the police should ensure that such incidents are probed and action is taken against the guilty.
The role of police is troubled times becomes much more significant. In conflict areas there are various players who wish to exploit the situation as and when some sort of aberration takes place. Here, the police and other forces have to tread cautiously.