In another bizarre development coming from Madhya Pradesh, a directive has been issued under the Kamal Nath led Congress government to police in all districts of Madhya Pradesh, calling for the police to not arrest any person from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes without following the procedure of law and not to subject them to torture during custody, effectively handicapping the police from taking action against people from certain sections of people.
This directive has certainly not gone down well with the opposing BJP which has called out this directive as casteist and pointed that caste should not be dragged into maintenance of law and order and justice should be done to all irrespective of their castes. It is a serious question as two why the police is advised to follow the procedure with members of only two communities and not others.
BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal had said, “The Congress-led state government is playing a dirty politics by creating rift among people in the name of caste.” Moreover for the Kamal Nath Government such appeasement tactics are not new given the dismal performance of the government over the past few months, however state’s Minister for Home, Bala Bacchan has said that if police department had issued some order like that it was wrong and he would look into the matter.
“Four police personnel in a tribal-dominated district Alirajpur had been suspended on August 10 this year after five accused in police custody complained that they were beaten up black and blue after arrest and forced to drink the urine of policemen. The accused were from tribal community and they also complained in this regard to National ST Commission by saying that they were harassed by policemen as they belonged to scheduled tribe (ST). The commission probed the matter and found the allegations baseless. But the commission member directed the state government to make district police sensitive about ST and asked not to harass anyone just because they belong to any particular caste.” additional director general (ADG) of police (Scheduled castes, scheduled tribes welfare wing) Pragya Richa Shrivastava said, explaining the directives.
“Following the directive of the commission, the police department issued an order covering both SCs and STs. It has nothing to do with any caste or anything,” she added.
The Kamal Nath government after the marginal victory in the state elections has been continually on the back foot, be it urea shortages in more than 18 districts or frequent Law and order issues.
Experts relate Kamal Nath’s governments diminishing popularity to unfulfillment of polling promises like unemployment allowance and the deteriorating law and order situation in Madhya Pradesh. Prahalad Bandhavar, a BJP leader from Mandsaur was shot dead in a cold-blooded murder just days after Kamal Nath’s Government took over. Kidnapping case of 5 years old twin Brothers form the town of Chitrakoot who were found dead and many other similar cases have exposed the deteriorating situation of Law and order in the state of Madhya Pradesh and now reports of these blatant oversights in law and order is certainly a worrying trend.
With just about a year into the government which many would consider to be a demo period, the barrage of populist decisions in the Kamal Nath government are unprecedented which many may term as damage control to the rapidly diminishing popularity of Kamal Nath and Congress government in the state.