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Is there a police mindset?


Portrait of a suicide bomber

Portrait of a suicide bomber

When Delhi police paraded three suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists – Mohammed Shakeel, Saquib Nisar and Zia-ur-Rehman – before the media last week in Arab-style kifayah scarves, little did it realize it would stir a hornet’s nest.

There seems to be a conscious effort to re-assert the identity of these youth – that of being Muslims.

A section of the Muslim community said that the scarves used were similar to those worn by Muslims, especially clerics. Some said they were part of a costume called the abaaya. Numerous e-mails and blogs said that parading those accused of the recent Delhi blasts in these scarves showed the typical mindset of the police. (Is there a police mindset?-India-The Times of India).

The Lowest Prison Population In The World

India has the lowest prison population in the world – ranging between 2.5 lakhs to 3.5 lakhs (250,000-350,000) for a population of 110 crores (1100 million). If one were to compare the Muslim prison population against the general Muslim population, there are an ‘extra’ 15,000-20,000 Muslim prisoners.

And what is the total Muslim population in India – more than 16 crores. This is the world’s largest minority Muslim population in the world – and also the 2nd /3rd largest Muslim population in the world.

India – Most Under-Policed Country In The World

It is also the most ‘under-policed’ country in the world. The Indian police is commendable job – with severe funding, equipment, manpower constraints.

They deserve better than this villification.

India – Most Affected By Terrorism

Apart from war torn countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, India is one of the most affected by terrorism in the world. In such a situation, for the administration, the police and the population to maintain a semblance of sanity, balance is creditable.

As MJ Akbar, observed,

“The Union and state governments have not been tested by a post-terror conflagaration because the overwhelming majority of Hindus have shown an exemplary commitment to peace, but this can hardly be taken for granted.”

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