Police Manual is one of the most credible documents that should enjoy full respect of the Government authorities as well as the civil society. Essentially, police are entrusted with very sensitive and delicate duty of handling law and order in the State.
Police Manual lays down not only the rules and regulations governing the duties and obligations of police force but also mentions the facilities that the State is expected to provide to the force. The situation on the ground is that the State Police Force has not been provided even some of the most essential facilities that would help the force discharge its duties efficiently. As per the Police Manual, every Police Station should have a reception room, interrogation room, rest room, sufficient lock-up rooms and other basic facilities besides requisite number of chambers for the Investigating Officers. But the ground situation is that not more than 50 per cent Police Station in J&K have the facilities listed above. Data available with us shows that out of total 215 Police Stations across Jammu and Kashmir, 97 Police Stations are without reception rooms. Similarly, 96 Police Stations are without interrogation rooms and 97 Police Stations are without rest rooms. Our information is that 86 Police Stations are having only single lock-up room as a result of which it becomes very difficult to keep in custody more than two suspects or accused particularly in the aftermath of incidents of clashes as the same is fraught with the danger of clashes inside the lock up room.
There has been much noise about police reforms and the word has been spread that the State believes in modernization of police force. The ground situation does not support the contention that a serious effort of modernization is underway. We are told that the Union Home Ministry has been sharing the expenditures on modernization process of J&K Police. There may be some activity in that direction but the pace with which modernization should be brought about is not there. In final analysis keeping in view the importance of police force in present disturbed conditions in the State, it is a matter of great urgency that minimum facilities and infrastructure are provided to the police force if they are to discharge their duty efficiently.