India´s institutions must evolve a security consciousness and develop a corresponding security plan with high boundary walls, and a 24×7 security system. The Beslam school siege in Russia, the Akshardham temple attack in Gujarat could all have been prevented by such simple measures. As was experienced on the eve of our Republic Day, India´s vast railway infrastructure is now being targeted by vested groups. This should become a wake-up call for our policy makers. Can every train not be fitted by an explosive detecting probe with a five kilometers range, be linked to a command surveillance centre via satellite and have armed personnel on it? A similar surveillance technique can be developed to protect our highways, hospitals, bridges, dams, electrical substations, transmission lines, and water distribution systems.
Whenever prominent political personalities visit any Indian city, there is increased police presence on the streets. Why can´t the police force not maintain its level of street presence even in the absence of VVIP visits? Police accessibility must become as efficient as the American 9/11 response system. There must be more of both uniformed as well as policemen in mufti (civilian dress) in market places, train stations, near educational institutions, in parks, near cinema theatres, train stations, bus stops, atop high rise buildings, near wedding venues, and even near children´s playgrounds. The motto of the police should be, ?A policeman just an arms´ length away?. There should be more armed patrolling on foot, motorcycles, vehicles and even cycles. Every policeman must have a radio communicator and a weapon. The police force must undergo psychological counseling to change its image from being perceived as a rude and arrogant force only out to make money, to a citizen friendly force actively seeking citizen participation in the discharge of its duties.
The citizen is estranged and wants to remain as away as possible from the police. This is shameful. Unless, the police force wins the hearts of the very people it promises to serve, there can be no reform. The police force must become citizen-responsive by taking every citizen grievance seriously, be more citizen-sensitive by empathising with an individual citizens´ distress, and lastly be more citizen-focussed by analysing the everyday troubles of citizens and gathering information from them. The police force must realise, that its enemy is not the ordinary citizen, but the criminals, the anti-social elements, the goons, and the terrorists who target the very citizens the force aims to protect. Can Station House Officers not be held accountable for petty crimes and other illegal activities within their jurisdiction to pressurise the local police to turn off their conniving eyes, and adopt a zero tolerance towards crime?
Many police officers want to be transferred to cash rich areas for purely pecuniary gains and are often found in cahoots with the local goons, lawbreakers and anti-social elements. Some police officers with a Rs 9,000 monthly income were found to be in possession of assets of over many crores. If the rakshak becomes a bhakshak, it must be eliminated. Here the rakshak has become a raakshash, and yet no action is taken. The brazenness of these people is evident that the force has demonised itself by failing to act against them when their activities were first detected. Justice delayed is not only justice denied, but it actually gives rise to a larger demon that eats up the very justice imparting mechanism that once threatened it. Therefore, the dispensation of justice must be immediate and decisive. If the police are incapable of taking any action against their own, can a special cell in the Army not be set-up to help out? Since the police force is an armed force, with adequate amendments, it can be brought under the purview of military law so that the guilties are more stringently punished. The Anti-corruption Bureau can be made an autonomous body like the CBI, with its personnel having fixed tenures. Only a series of such steps would install fear in the hearts of the personnel and make them perform their duty towards both their society and towards their country.