Time and over again J&K Police comes up with an assurance of being more humane in its approach towards society, but the tall promises get dashed to ground through irresponsible behavior and conduct of few officers. Such incidents tarnish the image of otherwise disciplined and humane force which has battled insurgency for last three decades keeping the ideals of policing alive.
In one such incident demeaning the ideals of policing a scribe in valley was kept in police custody for two days and an FIR was lodged because like the policemen on duty he was performing his job.
The incident happened in the afternoon of Saturday, April 11, when a journalist Mushtaq Ahmad Ganaie, resident of Kurhama Ganderbal was intercepted at a check post in Sumbal in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district by district police. As per the version of scribe, he duly cooperated by establishing his identity and purpose of venturing out of home was badly treated by the SPO on duty ignoring the credentials of scribe. Even though the scribe pleaded his case in all humility the policemen on spot forcibly opened the door of car and took away the keys browbeating the scribe with threats of consequences of venturing out in a lock down.
According to scribe in blatant disregard to the scribe’s reputation and call of duty, the SHO Sumbal, on spot ordered his men to cease the vehicle, mobile phone and place the scribe in lock up. The hapless scribe while pleading his case ended in lock up and was not allowed to contact his family or any acquaintance till 10 pm in evening. Intriguingly as per the version of scribe no medical examination was conducted in custody and an FIR was lodged. The scribe revealed that choicest abuses were hurled on the scribe with a third degree torture in custody.
The case which could have been a simple bailable offence and the journalist could have been released, was not actually released and was booked under an FIR (FIR No: 60 of 2020) placing the career and life of a law abiding scribe in jeopardy.
According to scribe the ordeal continued even after the family members of the scribe got the bail orders from court. The concerned police station refused to entertain the bail order on ground that they have no instructions from the concerned SHO.
It has been a week but the vehicle of the scribe which has been seized by the police is yet to be released by the court pending presenting of necessary documents by the concerned police station in court.
The ordeal of a law abiding journalist seemingly is yet to be over considering the matter will now be heard by the court of law and the penal sections of IPC slapped on the scribe have the potential of adversely affecting both the professional and personal life of scribe.
We duly contacted the concerned police station today over phone where we were told the report to release the vehicle has been sent to concerned SDPO but they are busy with some stone pelting incidents and Friday engagements. Our repeated attempts to contact the concerned SHO failed even though we sent a text message with repeated calls to the officer to gather the police version of this incident.
J&K police is a disciplined force working amidst all difficulties yet establishing its humane face in society, however the superiors at helm need to understand that incidents like this do adversely impact the image of force in society and raise doubts which are easily exploited by the elements detrimental to the interests of society and nation.