ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Police Reforms: Need to Review Power to Arrest

One of the major reasons for abuse of authority and excesses by the police is the enormous power they wield over life and liberty. The power of arrest is the most important in this category and deserves a closer look from the angle of reducing the scope for several attendant malpractices.

A news item in The Hindu of Hyderabad dated October 14 under the title ‘Lock-up death at Bandi Atmakur alleged’ should be of interest to those concerned with police reforms.

Mystery prevails over the death of 20-year old Harijana Peddinti Tirupalu whose body was recovered from the premises of Bandi Atmakur Police Station in Kurnool district on Thursday [October 12]...Angered by the death, the relations of the victim and villages demonstrated before the police station on Thursday. The agitators demanded the arrest of the constables. Amidst tension, the body was buried by relations after the superintendent of police (SP) convinced them to call off an agitation and promised action against the constables, if found guilty...According to reports, the two constables attached to Bandi Atmakur police station picked up Tirupalu from his house at Kottala, a scheduled caste locality of the town, in the early hours of Tuesday accusing him of indulging in gambling. The parents of the youth said their son had not returned since then...Meanwhile, the inspector and the sub inspector who was the Station House Officer said the arrested were let off on the same day after securing personal bonds and asked to be prepared for appearing before the court. They admitted that the arrested were asked to clear the bushes around the police station building as a part of punishment. The parents alleged that the two constables had beaten their son to death and offered Rs 100 to the mother saying that the amount was seized from Tirupalu.

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