DAILYPOST: The incident of thrashing and stripping of head-constable Malkit Singh in Virk Kalan village in Bathinda on Saturday brought shame to the entire polity, the democratic system and speaks volumes about political patronage.
Malkit Singh was beaten mercilessly, stripped naked and taken around the village by the ‘sarpanch’and his three sons. It was a trivial matter over which the ‘sarpanch’ and his sons took out cudgels against the policemen. The village link road was not wide enough and the tractor trailer belonging to the ‘sarpanch’ scratched through a parked car in which two policemen were sitting. An argument ensued followed by a fight. One of the policemen managed to run away but Malkit Singh came handy for the culprits.
It is immaterial as to which political party the ‘sarpanch’ belongs, the fact of the matter is that the politicians for their narrow ends provide shelter and patronage to ‘goonda’ elements. Such elements then browbeat the system and spread terror.
In the days of terrorism it was the people and the police who worked together to defeat the designs of a hostile neighbour. The heavily armed terrorists met with their fate only after the policemen got motivated to fight it out. One cannot ignore the chivalry shown by the cops when society was being divided on the basis of religion. The one and a half decade of terrorism also resulted in the killing of hundreds of cops of various ranks. The relatives of the policemen were looted and shot, for no crime of theirs’.
Punjab is not the only state where policemen have to face rough weather; such incidents are also common in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana. Shift through pages of history and you will find so many incidents of violence against the police, which exists for maintaining law and order. There is a paradigm shift as the new generation instead of respecting the law enforcing agency, damn cares about it. It is also admitted that police in general enjoy a bad reputation for its atrocious conduct with the people. Once you think of police, the next thing which strikes the mind is about their “making money.”
It is also condemnable when politicians anchor ‘goonda’ elements. During the rule of different politicians such elements have improved their muscle power and used it to extort money and suppress rivals.
The Virk Kalan episode also highlights the political connections of villagers especially when elections are a couple of months away. For votes a ‘sarpanch’ means a lot to any party. He is expected to carry a large number of followers and supporters who will cast their votes in accordance with his advice.
It goes to the credit of the independent media which highlighted the matter forcing the politicians to come out of slumber. Media is tasked with the reporting and analysing the twists and turns that society takes. It has brought to fore the excesses of the police and human rights’ violations. At the same time one cannot ignore allegiance of media houses to corporates and doing their bidding.