Fear stops people to complain against cops

One should know his rights while dealing with police: Lawyers.

Hyderabad: Lawyers have stated that though there are provisions to prosecute police officers for abusing their power, it will only attract more persecution for the complainant. This forces the public to refrain from speaking up against police atrocities.

Senior lawyer M. A. Azeem, addressing the programme, ‘Legal Knowledge for Social Action’, on Saturday, said it was not easy for an individual to challenge the abuse of power of the establishment. He suggested, “instead of raising our voices individually against injustice and abuse of power, we should highlight the wrongdoings of police personnel through organisations consisting of eminent personalities.” It observed that most people who dare to approach the courts against oppression and high-handedness of the police lose their patience before the prosecution ends as the police force them to withdraw the case by harassing them, Mr Azeem alleged.

He said there was a need to bring reforms in policing. Every citizen should know his or her rights while dealing with the police. Indians have rights even in police custody and confinement in jail, Mr Azeem said.

He said in all cases punishable with imprisonment up to seven years, the police officer cannot arrest anyone without permission from a magistrate. The police officer may instead issue a notice of appearance, Mr Azeem said. State general secretary, Association for Protection of Civil Rights, Jabbar Siddiqui, said, “we should resist against atrocities, this attempt is a sign of life. Every powerful person desires to grab the liberties of weak persons. The ascent of humanity is the participation of the public in decision-making and the powerful men desire to usurp these rights. Every citizen should know their rights in a democracy.”

Mr E. Ismayeel, former member of the State Human Rights Commission, said if any one harassed or persecuted by the police, that person should take legal action to safeguard his rights. The role of the Human Rights Commission is very significant to curb the abuse of power by the police, he said. Mr Mohammed Afzal, advocate, said people should pressurise the Chandrasekhar Rao government to defer the National Population Register (NPR) exercise. He said that if people avoid providing information to the NPR enumerator, there are chances of that they may face difficulties in the future, as the government may mandate the reference of NPR in various process and welfare schemes.

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