Bangalore police chief transferred; should the buck stop there?
news Monday, July 21, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| July 21, 2014| 6.40 pm IST (Comment) The Karnataka government has transferred Bangalore Police Commissioner over the law and order situation in the state capital. This move however, has prompted many to ask whether the Commissioner should be the only one accountable. In the last two weeks, at least two incidents of sexual assault have received a lot of attention, both in the media and also among citizens. The first of these was the kidnapping of a 22-year-old post-graduate student from outside her apartment building in Fraser Town. Her kidnappers took her and her friend to an isolated spot in Cox Town, a neighbouring locality and raped her. For those who are not familiar with Bangalore, Fraser Town and Cox Town are two places in the heart of Bangalore city that are filled with residential and commercial buildings. The second of these was the rape of a six-year-old girl in her school in Marathhalli which came to light over 10 days after it had occurred. While these two cases were most reported by the media, several other cases of assault against women and children have been reported in the last few days. There was of course the PR disaster as hundreds of parents protested on the streets on Saturday, and the commissioner did not turn up. The anger against the Commissioner soon boiled over with parents starting to shout slogans; the commissioner was later forced to turn up at the venue. In the 22 year oldâ€™s case the police force came under much flak for various reasons. First, the incident happened in the heart of the city. Second, the police were accused of leaking the victimâ€™s details and third, it was the victimâ€™s friends who apprehended the accused and not the police Within the police force, Auradkar is said to have created a clique of his own which created a situation in which police officers would not follow the orders of their immediate superiors, sources say. Raghavendra Auradkar definitely has a lot to answer. But the fact remains that he allowed his department to go ahead and file a case against a police officer who revealed the identity of the Frazer Town victim (first such case files under 166 A). The Bangalore police also filed cases against three TV channels for indirectly disclosing details of the victim. (Story here.) Auradkar has been transferrred out, but questions have been raised over Karnataka Home Minister K J Georgeâ€™s ability to maintain law and order in the state, especially with the first incident occurring in his Assembly constituency of Sarvajnanagar in Bangalore. George is perceived to have very little authority within political and official circles and also within the police force. If the Chief Minister of Karnataka wishes to reprimand those who allowed the situation to worsen, he should turn the focus to his Home Minister too. The Home Minister needs to be told to have a tighter control over his force, or face the music.