“Yes, the police investigation is flawed, but there are reasons behind it. I believe the first and primary factor is that there are no working hours for police. The policemen have to be on duty round the clock”
In an overt ‘ignominy’ to the Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP), there is an ever increasing demand for the intervention of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been observed that over the years, due to an inexplicable ‘distrust’ in JKP, the demand for CBI has been gaining momentum.
In the past couple of years, politicians and political parties have apparently discredited Jammu and Kashmir police of its role in investigations, as they have time and again pressed for CBI investigation, thus creating a niche for distrust among the general public.
“CBI as an institute has become a milking cow for the political parties, especially those in opposition. They not only venerate the central agency, but are also annihilating the image of Jammu and Kashmir police,” said a senior police officer, adding that there is no doubt that police investigations are ‘tardy and flawed’, but that doesn’t discredit their role in policing.
Police officer, requesting not to be named, shared that this trend has been set by politicians, who for their petty vote bank, instigate the public for CBI inquiry.
“Our people still believe in local police more than central agencies. It is the handiwork of these politicians that the demand for CBI inquiry was raised time and again,” said a police officer, adding that if these politicians could have worked for the welfare of police, there had been much better and result oriented investigations from the JKP.
However, claiming that there are ‘black-sheep’ in every fraternity, a police officer said, “It is true that in many instances, the investigation of JKP was inclined, biased and absolutely faulty. There were cases where JKP did side with the accused, probably in lieu of money. They conducted a wrong investigation, due to which culprits got acquitted from the court, thus leaving little trust among the public,” he added, but this trend should not be generalized.
“Yes, the police investigation is flawed, but there are reasons behind it. I believe the first and primary factor is that there are no working hours for police. The policemen have to be on duty round the clock,” said a senior police officer, adding that the dearth of manpower is another reason, due to which the same set of policemen is put on various activities at the same time.
He said that due to dearth of manpower, the existing staff is overburdened. “They have to maintain law and order, they have to attend court, they have to ensure VIP movement, they have to see complaints and they have to investigate the cases,” said officer, adding that such over occupied scheduled certainly effects their efficiency.
Meanwhile, the level of distrust in the investigation of JKP could be gauged from the fact that the public demand for CBI inquiry has been raised even in the issues of little importance. It won’t be perhaps wrong to say that police has failed to fill the trust deficit owing to which there are frequent demands for shifting of investigations and inquiries from Jammu and Kashmir police to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Latest in the league is a demand for CBI inquiry into the alleged multi-crore scam in Poonch. Not satisfied with the ongoing investigation by the Crime Branch of Jammu & Kashmir Police into “Hablas money doubling scam”, the people of Mendhar sub-division of Poonch demanded CBI inquiry into the matter. A group of locals told the media “the scam is one of the biggest in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, amounting to hundreds of crores of rupees”. Locals said that the people are dissatisfied with the pace of investigation carried out by the Crime Branch.
In the month of June, 2020 Ramesh Pandita filed a writ petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court demanding a CBI probe and judicial inquiry into the murder of his relative Ajay Pandita, who was killed by terrorists on June 8.
A leader of Jammu Kashmir National Panthers Party sought CBI enquiry to know the source of corruption of Vice Chancellor, Central University of Jammu for building an alleged mansion of allegedly worth Rs 5 crore on 36 marlas of khad land without building permission.
In the month of June, 2020, Harsh Dev Singh demanded CBI probe over in the murder case of a local person of Pattangarh area of Chenani by some nomads and outside migrants in Seoj Dhar area.
In March, 2020 Balwant Singh Mankotia, president of the Panthers Party and a former MLA of Udhampur, demanded CBI enquiry into the death of 12 children after consuming a dose of “adulterated” cough syrup that was supplied by a Himachal Pradesh based drug manufacturer.
In 2020, senior BJP demanded CBI enquiry into the killing of three BJP workers. He said that the three workers were not provided security in spite of the party’s repeated requests. He said it is purely a case of security lapse and demanded the Superintendent of Police (SSP) and District Collector of Kulgam be suspended.
Former chief minister and National Conference vice-president, Omar Abdullah, demanded CBI inquiry into “fake orders that had surfaced on social media over the past few days, leading to speculation that the Centre might be moving to scrap Article 35-A. Reacting to the Governor’s statement, Omar Abdullah tweeted: “This is a very serious matter raised by the Governor. Fake orders were circulated under the signature of senior government officers. This is not something that can be dismissed with a simple sound byte. The CBI must be asked to investigate these fake orders & their origin.”
In 2018, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, who have submitted their resignations as minister, reiterated the demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.
Similar demands for the intervention of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were raised in other cases like Cooperative Housing scam, Haji Syed Mohammad Yousuf custody death, Kulgam Sex Scandal among others.
Talking to The Typewriter Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jammu, Shridhar Patil said that if complainant is not satisfied with Investigation Officer in a case, then he has right to approach the senior officer, but due to unknown reasons complainant, most of the times, fail to reach senior officers which may be the reason for trust deficit.
“Lack of awareness among people and language barrier can also be the reason, but we are removing language barriers by giving preference to language what the complainant is comfortable in,” he said, adding “We are now recording statements of complainants as per their preferences.”
He further said that facilities in the Forensic Science Laboratory are also going to improve. “I think this will resolve the issue in the coming days,” he said and added that many times Jammu and Kashmir Police was also appreciated for their quality of investigation.
Inspector General of Police Jammu, Mukesh Singh said that there should not be any reason for trust deficit.
“We are taking care of all kinds of investigation. Our investigation, in so many cases, has been validated by CBI, for example we investigated some encounter cases which were later transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and our investigation was praised by them. I don’t think there is any trust deficit,” He said and added that CBI is a specialized agency, which is dedicated for investigation only, while police has to take care of other things as well.
“For example, the CBI investigates a matter in two days, but the police take more time because it has other duties to dispose of,” IGP admitted.