January 9th, 2017
A railway passenger used their mobile phone to film an incident of Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel kicking a disabled man mercilessly on 3 January 2017. The incident took place in Balasore district of Odisha.
The man was caught by passersby after trying to flee with somebody else’s mobile phone. Following this he was handed over to the RPF who thrashed him continuously in full public view. The incident was captured visually and released to ANI.
The apprehended man is said to be earning his livelihood by sweeping the floors in the train between Balasore and Bhadrak railway stations.
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu has directed the RPF to probe the incident.
Police sensitisation in India
There have been many official programmes conducted to sensitize police authorities. The most prominent sensitisation issues have been regarding gender issues and discrimination against Indians from the North-east.
Back in 2013, then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde raised concerns over the deficiencies in the training and sensitisation of police in dealing with crimes against women. On December 2016, Supreme Court Justice A K Sikri pitched for sensitising police officers at jails towards prisoners. Likewise, in November of the same year, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Delhi Police is being sensitised to the security needs of people from the northeastern states living in the national capital.
Law enforcement is tasked with the duty of maintaining law and order in the country. Incidents like the one in Odisha captured by ANI decrease public faith in police personnel. There is a need to sensitise policemen and policewomen – in this case, towards disabled people. Discrimination against women, Indians from the North-east, disabled people etc. is not something concentrated among the police. However, due to the degree of power and responsibilities borne by police personnel, it becomes more important to sensitise them so that they react calmly and logically, and do not go about thrashing disabled people in public.
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