Abhinav Kumar (for Info only, not official)

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Abhinav Kumar

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    ... As the crow flies, Gurugram is about 250 km away from Kotkhai in Himachal Pradesh. On the surface, the two places couldn’t be more different. One is the proud, if somewhat shaky, symbol of the aspirations of 21st century India. The other is a place where time has mostly stood still. And yet they are now linked in the public imagination by two separate but similar tales of horrific murders of school-going children. Common to both incidents is the widespread public outrage that they rightly aroused, the serious charges of incompetence and complicity against the respective local police, and the dramatic twist in the two investigations that came about after the cases were handed over to the CBI. On July 6, 2017, the body of a 16-year-old girl was found in the forest near Kotkhai, a town approximately 80 km from Shimla. Mourned in public as Gudiya, she had been missing since two days. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 15, 2017, 12:30 a.m.

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    ...The real tragedy of Panchkula is not the blame game and turf wars. It is the death of nearly 40 citizens at the hands of the state. The last week was not a good time to be a godman in India. It was, however, a worse time to be a policeman in India. That the police were cowardly, incompetent and ineffective is a cliché of our times. It can be applied anywhere, most recently to the violence in Panchkula. So whether one believes that the situation was saved by the brave woman deputy commissioner of Panchkula, or by the arrival of the Indian Army, all the different narratives are united in their contempt for the conduct of the Haryana Police and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) deployed with them. Having seen the challenges faced by the Haryana police over the last week at close quarters, this view is at best naive and ill-informed, and at worst maliciously biased. Either way, it is quite simply, wrong. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 31, 2017, midnight

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    ... A madness seems to be sweeping across large parts of the country. In incident after incident, the transportation of cattle, the suspicion of possession or consumption of beef, the transportation or possession of cattle carcasses, have been sufficient provocation for a lynch mob to appear from nowhere and inflict gruesome violence. Those accused of these provocations, usually Muslims and Dalits, have been subjected to the most horrific brutality. The death toll in these incidents is already in the double digits and rising. Quite understandably, this violence has raised serious questions about the prevailing social climate in the country, specially with regard to Hindu-Muslim relations. Both at home and abroad, India’s image as a tolerant, pluralist society has taken a beating. Civil society is up in arms. Social media and traditional media are both awash with heartfelt expressions of outrage. ...

    Indian Express on June 30, 2017, 12:54 a.m.

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    ...They have questioned both the timing and manner of the arrest, demanded some sort of immunity from arrest in future cases, hinted at a cover-up and threatened to refuse to follow verbal orders of the political executive. Predictably, the chief minister of Bihar has not taken kindly to this defiance and has warned of severe action against such indiscipline and vowed to continue actions against corrupt bureaucrats. Stepping back from the specifics of the case, there is once again a spotlight on the power of arrest given to the police in our criminal laws. One retired IAS officer, writing anonymously in a daily newspaper, termed it as proof that India was now a police state. ...

    Indian Express on March 22, 2017, 1:26 a.m.

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    ...Illustration: C R Sasikumar Perhaps Constable Yadav was a vegetarian with no opinion on the subject. Or perhaps good mutton curry would have spoilt the story he was trying to tell. Illustration: C R Sasikumar The BSF has been ambushed. Not by the enemy we face eyeball to eyeball every day across the nearly 3,000-km Indo-Pak border. But by one of its own. Sometime on January 8, Constable Tej Bahadur of the 29th Battalion of the BSF deployed on the LoC, who, after over 20 years of service, was supposed to proceed on voluntary retirement on January 31, decided enough was enough. In a couple of videos, shot probably with the assistance of unknown colleagues, Tej Bahadur created a compelling narrative of hardship and neglect around burnt chapatis and watery dal. For some reason, the quality of the mutton curry visible in the video was not commented upon. Perhaps Constable Yadav was a vegetarian with no opinion on the subject. ...

    Indian Express on Jan. 17, 2017, 12:25 a.m.

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    ... Law-making in democracies is seldom a cut and dried process.Public policy is a messy business full of compromises and concessions to prevailing public sentiments and expectations.The laws that emerge out of this churn further undergo a gestation period where they are assimilated into the legal system and social practice.There is often a significant time lag between the enactment of a law and its faithful observance, even in societies that have a higher level of adherence to the rule of law, than India.Given this complex relationship between law and society, it stands to reason that laws must be enacted with great care, and must be amended or repealed with even greater care.The recent debate about the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act demands that changes must be seen in this context.The PC Act was passed in 1988 with a lot of expectations. ...

    Indian Express on Sept. 9, 2016, midnight

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    ...While it is a testing time, I believe it is also a tremendous opportunity to earn goodwill and showcase our professional competence and progressive leadership.Unfortunately, as the recent intervention by the Mumbai High Court shows, we are not doing so.Policing revelry in India is still held hostage to past dogma and a mai-baap mentality that is anachronistic and deeply offensive to present-day democratic sensibilities.The writ in the Mumbai HC against the decision of the Mumbai police to clamp down on New Year's Eve celebrations, and the court's rejection of the stance of the Mumbai police is a case in point. ...

    Indian Express on Jan. 9, 2014, 1:27 a.m.

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    ...While the media and political parties cry themselves hoarse about the political and legal significance of this letter, for police officers across the country, it has evoked condemnation, embarrassment, indignation, anguish and sympathy in equal measure.For IPS officers, the letter raises troubling questions about our professional practices.It also creates a nagging sense of self doubt and uncertainty about the future of professional policing in India.Two points need to be borne in mind.First, policing around the world is an extremely dangerous profession.Second, policing India is a doubly hazardous task.For all its claims to being a democracy that enshrines the rule of law as a foundational principle, India remains a violent, fragmented and unstable society where, apart from their regular chores of preventing and detecting crime and maintaining law and order, the police routinely battle organised crime, terrorism and leftwing extremism.In India, violence is not just an individual moral aberration. ...

    Indian Express on Sept. 9, 2013, 12:35 a.m.