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Errant policemen

Updated March 14, 2019

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THE police in this country suffer from an image problem, and every so often incidents make the headlines revealing just why there is such a massive trust deficit between the law enforcers and the citizens.

Four policemen in Karachi were dismissed from service on Tuesday after a video emerged of them harassing a couple at the city’s Sea View beach.

The incident reportedly occurred on Sunday, and after the video went viral, police authorities moved in to take action against the errant cops.

The video is quite disturbing, as it shows the thuggish policemen in uniform manhandling a woman. The man making the video said the lawbreaking cops approached him and his wife and demanded money, while pointing guns at them.

Higher authorities in the police have done the right thing by taking action against such individuals, while Clifton SP Sohai Aziz, in whose jurisdiction the incident occurred, was absolutely correct in emphasising while talking to the media that police officers “are not supposed to engage in moral policing”.

It is a sad fact that in a city that suffers from a high crime rate, many policemen are more interested in extorting money from couples or shaking down motorists and bikers than curbing crime.

Some men in uniform are apparently not motivated to protect and to serve, but, instead, to harass the public.

The only way to address this malaise is to take strict disciplinary action against those found indulging in unlawful behaviour.

Moreover, the force requires more women officers, such as the current Clifton SP, to sensitise the police and make it a more professional force.

When policemen break the law, they give a bad name to the whole force, and the sacrifices of many honest officers who have laid down their lives in the line of duty are forgotten.

Action against black sheep in the police force needs to be a constant process, and there must be zero tolerance for the sort of atrocious behaviour witnessed recently in Karachi.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2019