Crime map­ping in Pun­jab

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

Pap­pre­ci­a­tion UNJAB In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Board (PITB), which surely de­serves

for its vi­brant ap­proach to help ad­dress prob­lems fac­ing peo­ple of the Province through ap­pli­ca­tion of mod­ern in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, is im­ple­ment­ing a dig­i­tal map­ping of crime pro­gramme in the Province. The idea is to gather crime re­lated in­for­ma­tion from dif­fer­ent parts of the Province and store them at the cen­tral de­pos­i­tory to given an idea to the pol­icy and de­ci­sion-mak­ers to plan ac­tions to tackle the crime sit­u­a­tion.

This is, in­deed, a step for­ward in e-polic­ing and the project has the po­ten­tial to stem the ris­ing crime trend in the Province. How­ever, there are no in­di­ca­tions as yet that the pro­gramme is bear­ing any fruit to the peo­ple as street crimes are on the rise and there is also no re­duc­tion in mur­ders, thefts, rob­beries and kid­nap­pings. This is be­cause no change can take place un­til and un­less there is be­havioural change on the part of po­lice of­fi­cials and of­fi­cers. The idea of crime map­ping re­volves around the con­cerned po­lice of­fi­cers, who are sup­posed to record all in­ci­dents of crime tak­ing place in their ar­eas of ju­ris­dic­tion and re­port them to the cen­tral data­base. One fails to un­der­stand how the Gov­ern­ment ex­pects an hon­est ap­proach from th­ese of­fi­cials when they do not record FIRs of even heinous crimes fear­ing this would re­flect neg­a­tively on their abil­ity to check crimes in their ar­eas. With the ex­ist­ing lot of cor­rupt-to-the-core po­lice of­fi­cials, no re­duc­tion in crime rate is ex­pected and the project would meet the same fate as the so-called digi­ti­sa­tion of land record where Patwari still reigns supreme. Po­lice of­fi­cers must ex­er­cise strict mon­i­tor­ing and vig­i­lance to check crimes in the face of ex­treme frus­tra­tion of the pub­lic.

IF I were to award marks to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi for his two-year gov­er­nance, I would give him four out of 10. I wouldn’t fail him be­cause he did not of­fi­cially pur­sue the Hin­dutva pro­gramme and yet al­lowed the RSS and Ba­jrang Dal, both ex­trem­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions, to have the run of the field. I know that RSS chief Mo­han Bhag­wat was al­lowed to use Akash­vani to pur­vey his parochial and ex­trem­ist views. In the same man­ner other gov­ern­ment-owned in­sti­tu­tions, such as the Nehru Li­brary, were asked to fol­low the words com­ing from the RSS head­quar­ters at Nag­pur, or Jhan­de­walan in New Delhi. Heads of dif­fer­ent ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes with Nehru­vian lean­ings were dis­missed.

The process is not yet com­plete. Even the cen­tral in­sti­tu­tions in the Congress-run states are be­ing sys­tem­at­i­cally saf­fro­nised. Modi doesn’t have to give day-to-day in­struc­tions. The mes­sage has reached that the en­tire set-up will have to—willynilly—fol­low the Hin­dutva line of think­ing, no mat­ter how ante delu­vian. Take the case of mur­der at Dadri, only 50 kilo­me­tres from Delhi. One Mus­lim was killed by fa­nat­ics sim­ply be­cause his fam­ily was sus­pected to have eaten beef. The ex­trem­ists were not con­tent with the killing of one per­son but wanted ac-

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