The success of defeating COVID–19 depends on effective implementation of the lockdown. Police have a major role to play in this matter. With due respect to the holy month of Ramadan, Telangana State Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced relaxation in the morning hours for shopping of essentials. Many policemen are seen working hard and for long hours to implement the lockdown. There are some black sheep who are out to tarnish the image of the police department by abusing in filthy language and raining lathis on fasting youths. These errant cops are allegedly shamelessly abusing women in the vulgar language during their interaction.
With many videos of brutal police action coming to the fore on social media and after some direct complaints, Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali called a meeting and gave a piece of his mind to Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, IPS, and other top officials. He cautioned the policemen of action if they behave in unprofessional and brutal ways, which can tarnish the image of the government in front of the citizens. Anjani Kumar is a polished top cop with an international clean record. He even kept peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina! But, he has not been able to discipline the Hyderabad City Police. His pleas for professional behaviour have fallen on deaf ears and some policemen seem to defy their boss repeatedly without any deterrent consequences.
After the meeting with Home Minister Mahmood Ali, Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar took symbolic action by suspending a home guard and transferring a sub-inspector from Moghul Pura Police Station to the headquarters. The sub-inspector Chandramouli allegedly used vulgar language. The transfer is no punishment! Not suspending despite unprofessional behaviour will not deter the sub-inspector. SHO Golconda is given a charge memo for not properly briefing his subordinates in the discharge of duties.
Two fasting youth sustained injuries after cops rained lathis on them. In the first instance, a youngster sustained a head injury after he was allegedly beaten up by the Mirchowk police in the old city. The victim has been identified as 19 year old Arbaz. He was allegedly beaten up by a police constable at Mandi Mir Alam. During this incident, Arbaz sustained a bleeding injury on the head. Commotion prevailed in the Mandi area after locals staged a protest against the alleged police brutality and high handedness.
In another incident, 19 year old Junaid was allegedly beaten up severely by Home Guard Hanumanthu of Golconda police station near Shaikpet at Towlichowki. Junaid was reportedly on his way to distribute essentials to the needy when the cops stopped and confronted the young man.
Home Minister Mahmood Ali has expressed his concern over the incidents. He said that despite repeated instructions, the use of lathis by some cops is unacceptable. It is a bid to effect goodwill of government by using force against fasting Muslims in the month of Ramadan, he opined.
Hyderabad Police need refresher courses in professionalism, communication skills, counselling and increment-stopping measures for repeated offenders.