Mehbooba opposes Police Bill
Mehbooba said J&K has the dubious distinction of having been reduced to a police state outside the democratic system of the country but the proposed bill would actually covert it to a lawless state. If this Bill is allowed to pass in its present form we will have an Ikhwani state in which the thanedar and not the democratic institutions or the elected representatives will set the rules of the society, she said. "On the one hand the government is making noises on scrapping the AFSPA and on the other it is proposing to provide similar immunity and unbridled powers to its own police and taking them out of all civilian control and guidance"she said.
Mehbooba said the proposal to create special security zones (SSZs) and legalisation of Village Defence Committees which could be administered according to the discretion of the police through SPOs is dangerous for any society but for a conflict ridden area it could be a sure prescription for continuing the disturbed conditions and denial of basic rights.
She said police in fact needs to be brought out of the colonial mindset and practices that were followed by feudal forces to stay in power and the objective of any new law should be to make it more accountable to democratic institutions, people friendly and socially oriented. The proposed law unfortunately negates any such purpose, she said.
Mehbooba said this draft legislation has all the criteria of a systematic undermining of democracy: namely, the abdication of authority to security forces by an elected government, military-style 'civilizing' of civilian society by insultingly presuming to teach them how to stand in line, urinate and defecate . It also has ring of an effort to appease the muscular nationalists in
Mehbooba said many backdoor offences have been included to increase the criminal liability of the Public. "It not just means taking people to jail for petty offences but is also a negation of social policing and larger public morality. If this Bill passed then a person can be jailed for wrong parking, cleaning furniture in a public place, urinating on the road side, not caring for pets, overtaking and breaking a queue for essential supplies"she cautioned. She said for a state which doesn't have a single public urinal anywhere and very few parking places these provisions only point to government's insulting and feudal attitude towards its people.
Pointing out that the Bill provided for arrest of a person in case of non-rendering of assistance to a Police Officer, Mehbooba said this government is unable to look beyond repressive measures to run the state and treats everybody as a criminal. She said we are living in an era of democracy and the laws have to conform to the basic principle of respecting every individual's rights. She said the PDP would not allow any further erosion of people's rights and would strive harder for their empowerment.
Mehbooba said the government had deliberately chosen this time for inviting suggestions on the bill when means of communication have been severely restricted. She said the backdrop of Afzal Guru's hanging should have led the government to introspect on the effects of having an unjust system which alienated a generation of youth and forced them to take to arms. " It is this system that ultimately pushed Guru to gallows that prevailed in the state before 2002 and which the present government is trying to revive and institutionalise though the Police Bill just to remain in power. It is time for the entire society to rise against such perverse application of the concept of police reform" she stressed.
Mehbooba said the state police is part of the larger society and share with rest of population a value system that is special to the state. She said it was the same police that helped the healing touch policy of the PDP led coalition but the way the present government has misused this institution it looks in conflict with the society. "That is a dangerous situation which could be worsened by measures proposed to be introduced through the Police Bill"she added.
Tags: Police Bill , Ikhwani PDP
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