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Activists draw up campaign to make police reforms an election issue

India on 26 September 2014
Location : Mumbai | Source : Times of India.

From repealing the Maharashtra Police (Second Amendment) Act, 2014, to ensuring that every police station has a clear action plan for safety and security, activists are demanding that political candidates commit themselves to a transparent and responsive police force.

Police Reforms Watch (PRW) and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) will kick off their 'Blow the Whistle' campaign highlighting their 10-point manifesto for better policing on Friday with a 10-second slide titled 'I am Mumbai...' shown in cinema halls.

There will also be a campaign on radio and social media during the election campaign period.

The NGOs want police stations to be upgraded, a separate desk at police stations for protection of women and children, and recruitment of more women.

"We want the new government to ensure a clear action plan is chalked out for every police station in consultation with the community through well-publicized public meetings," Dolphy D'Souza of PRW said. "It must ensure swift registration of FIRs on all complaints of torture, [and] compel the police to follow the National Human Rights Commission guidelines on custodial death or rape ... ."

Demanded are an eight-hour police shift, abolition of the use of police personnel as orderlies and police security guards, and measurement of police performance on the basis of service delivery, response time and complaint registration "This will put an end to the present method of measuring performance through the number of crimes registered and cases solved," D'Souza said.

The NGOs are demanding a commitment from candidates for the repeal of the Maharashtra Police (Second Amendment) Act, 2014, as it circumvents the Supreme Court directives on reforms.

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