JAMMU, Sept 14: Otherwise riddled with the incidents of browbeating, intimidating and beating up commoners, most of the times for no fault of theirs, J&K Police have taken up an initiative to improve their "bad man" image and present to the people their humane side.
To start with, police of Udhampur, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts have taken the first step to get friendly with the people by assuring them to fight on their behalf for their genuine problems and make them available the basic amenities of life. The initiative is the brain-child of DIGs - Jagjit Kumar (Udhampur-Reasi) and Gareeb Dass (Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban).
"At the thana level too, SHOs have been asked to behave themselves," a senior police officer said and added, "These instructions also stand passed on to officers on roads, where cops are faced with all sorts of serious allegations of misbehaving with people."
On Wednesday last, this scribe was witness to such an incident. A Sub-Inspector, either posted at Pacca Danga police station, or incharge of a police post, indulged in the worst kind of display of the police might. He, for no obvious reason, ordered a "patrol" vehicle to stand in the middle of the road outside Radio Station at Panjtirthi, which soon led to a traffic mess.
When scores of vehicles came to a halt, he unreasonably shouted at anybody who came his way. Anxiety was written all over his face. Now, what remains to be seen is at least the first step the two DIGs will be taking to discipline such elements in their districts. It will, however, mainly depend upon how they deal with them and hand them the punishment.
To discipline the "indisciplined" and fill the wide gap between police and public, Jagjit and Udhampur SSP Ashkoor Wani seem to have started making efforts. To come closer to people, the duo on Thursday last had dedicated them a water cooler at Majalta under civic action plan.
In the function held later, Jagjit emphasised the need for community policing initiatives to further improve police-public relations and sought people's help for maintenance of law and order.
In the interaction that followed, people used the platform to demand early compensation for their houses damaged due to the recent incessant rains, repairing of roads, and uninterrupted supply of water and electricity.
Wani was prompt in feeling their pulse and then assuring them that all their genuine grievances, even if these were out of police jurisdiction, would be redressed.
In response to his this gesture, people assured police all possible assistance in the execution of their lawful duties and maintenance of law and order.
Gareeb Dass too plans to launch civic action programmes in the three districts that fall under his jurisdiction.