This fortnight has been frenzied by the ongoing tug-of-war between the Home minister Ravi Naik and Director-General of the Police Aditya Arya over the transfer order issued by the minister without his knowledge. It is for the first time that a top cop has stood up to the Home minister and stalled the orders. For this act of the DGP he should be awarded a bravery medal by the people of the state for curbing political interference in the functioning of the police department.
Just last week I had mentioned in my column that the Goa police department is highly politicized. I can emphatically say that I was not thinking aloud, but was only revealing the truth – something that our elected representatives do not want to digest. But issuing transfer orders and that too for senior police officers like the superintendents of police was like stretching the intrusion to the limits at the same time undermining the prerogative and authority of Director General of the Police.
Home minister by virtue of portfolio becomes the chief of the police force but that does not give him the right to directly interfere in the functioning of the department. He has all right to make suggestions and recommendation to improve the functioning and administration of the police department but in no way can be dictate terms to the police chief when it comes to investigations, transfers and other functioning of the police department simply because it would set a precedent for other politicians who would later bag the Home portfolio to keep the police under their thumb. Ideally police functioning should be as far as possible independent of political influence and meddling.
Our politicians use the men-in-uniform as their own army. To site some examples Home minister Ravi Naik’s son Roy has been accused of being the don of drug trade in the state. His name has been mentioned in the murder Scarlett Keeling, Lucky Farmhouse girlfriend of drug peddler Atala has allegedly recorded him boasting about his links with Roy and also alleged named him recently in her statement to the CBI. But just because he is Home minister’s son, police are yet to arrest him or even interrogate him.
And can we forget Manohar Parrikar’s regime as the Home minister, he used the police through the former speaker Vishwas Satarkar to bodily evict elected representative Filipe Neri Rodrigues from the house in the bid to defeat the no-confidence motion moved against him and remain in power. There are many such incidents wherein politicians have used the cops as their personnel fiefdom.
Secondly if Home minister is given the freedom to effect transfer of the officers, cabinet colleagues and other elected representatives will request cops owing allegiance to them be either be posted in their constituency or be given lucrative postings. At the same time any cop who is not dancing to the tune of the politicians will also get a kick and a rogue cop who functions as per the whims and fancies of politicians even though he is inefficient will be awarded. Don’t we know about a police officer involved in the Miramar sex scandal but successive government rewarded him with promotions. Thus the stand taken by DGP Aditya Arya needs to be applauded by the common man.
Politicians also play a dubious role during the recruitment process. Lakhs of rupees are collected from candidates to get them enrolled in the police force. But the height was during Manohar Parrikar’s regime as chief minister and also Home minister. It is alleged that he recruited the maximum percentage of police personnel from the majority community. Of course he had planned his escape route very well, when media questioned him, his reply was that minority community candidates did not apply. However his act was exposed when High Court observed that the selection of PSIs during his tenure as illegal and presently the case is before the Supreme court.
It has been a trend in Goa – whichever government comes to power they want to totally possess the police force and the motive is simple, harass that section of the press which does not toe the government line, make it difficult for the opposition parties to function, make life miserable for government officers who refuse to bend rules to accommodate nepotism and corruption. This gives rise to lethargy in policing due to the close contact of politicians and cops.
In the present case it is not that the some of the SPs whose transfers have been affected did not approach the Home minister, they must have for plum postings. But since times memorial, strengths, of police officers especially from the rank of police inspector to DySP and SP has never been assessed. Infact if any DySP or SP is showing signs of efficiency and intelligence he is immediately transferred to a cell or an area that does not demand any intelligence. For example SP Bosco George and SP Atmaram Deshpande are the only two direct recruits from PI to DySP and now SPs who have made a difference wherever they were posted. But the government in its wisdom shunts them to areas like the public relation office (PRO) or as security incharge of the Governor. These two officers are good, efficient policemen but their capabilities are not being used simply because they are not yes men.
The intention of the DGP Aditya Arya seems to be very sincere. He wants to eradicate if not curb political interference in police functioning and that is the reason he has refused to implement the transfer order of the Home minister Ravi Naik. That itself is a jolt to the political class and so he is not going to be a favourite police chief. And given our politicians apathy towards good officer, we will have to wait and see how long DGP Arya remains in office in Goa before Goa government recommends his transfer to the Centre.


Armandojp27 said...

Judiciary/police should be independant and supreme., Government should not interfer or influnence judicial/police decisions. We or our politician do not know what democracy is. Politician are elected and empowered by the people, their duty is to the electorates.Our uneducated politician do not relise this. Armando Mendes-London

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