I would like to Explain This Police system with A Story.
This is the story of Abhishek, who comes from a backward area near Delhi in Ghaziabad. He belongs to a poor Brahmin family and has been struggling since a young age. He has gained a lot of experience through hard work and perseverance. Due to the difficult circumstances at home, he had to drop out of school after the 10th grade. In search of work during the unemployment phase, he faced many challenges in managing the family’s financial situation.
Time passed, and one day Abhishek, after doing several odd jobs, decided to start his own business. After much brainstorming, he thought of starting a small tea-selling business along the route taken by the current Prime Minister. He had heard from a friend that setting up a tea stall can be quite profitable. Motivated by this idea, he began gathering the necessary supplies.Before that, he used to work as a waiter in an English restaurant. On the day he received his final salary from there, he collected around 5,000 rupees, half of his salary, and purchased essential items like utensils and others.
He decided to set up a table or makeshift arrangement near the metro station, which was usually crowded, along the route he often took for work. He planned to sell tea to people there.After inquiring extensively, he learned from one of the small illegal shopkeepers there that obtaining permission from the police was necessary before engaging in any small business activities.Thinking of “permission” as a legal term, he went to the nearest police station and timidly spoke to some police officers there. During the conversation, he discovered that the place he needed permission from was under the jurisdiction of the metro authorities.
However, the police station assigned a constable there with the responsibility of maintaining security and surveillance. If he could talk to that constable, he might be able to arrange for any small business activities at that location.Up until now, Abhishek had understood the system as just a system. But that was the time when he was about to understand the true essence of the system.After searching for the police officer on duty, Abhishek asked several people and finally reached an auto stand.
There, he noticed an auto emitting a strong smell of marijuana. Peeking inside, he saw a police officer who resembled Gaitonde from the movie “Drishyam”. As soon as he glanced, the officer started shouting, “What the hell, you motherf****r!” Abhishek calmly explained to him that he wanted to do a small job to support his family. The police officer, in a gruff manner, told him that the rate for engaging in any business there for a day was 200 rupees and asked him to leave.Initially,
he wanted some time to think because he was afraid of whether the business he had chosen was right or not, and whether he would be able to earn enough to afford the 200 rupees per day for the police officer to indulge in smoking ganja. However, since he had already purchased the goods to sell, the question of stepping back was no longer relevant.
The next day, he decided to approach the same auto again to finalize the deal. However, this time, the voice that echoed through the alley was not that of the Gaitonde-like police officer but of Tabbal, the owner of the auto. Tabbal owned ten autos and was not only the owner but also a thug who extorted money from people on behalf of the police officer. Leaving behind all his previous attitude, Abhishek humbly requested Tabbal to allow him to run the shop there.
After running the shop for three days, an MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) truck arrived and, leaving everyone else’s goods untouched, it destroyed Abhishek’s merchandise and took it away. To retrieve his goods, he had to go to the MCD office on
Saturday evening and pay a fine. However, the office was closed on Sunday. On Monday, the officials were absent, and Tuesday happened to be their boss’s birthday. On Wednesday, the officials left early, and on Thursday, they simply refused to meet him. By Friday, the accumulated rent for the godown and fines had amounted to around 4,700 rupees, as Abhishek learned from the middleman associated with the officials. Despite the heavy losses, Abhishek managed to recover his goods with the help of someone and opened the shop.
But soon after, another shop owner approached him and informed him that in order to run the shop, he would have to pay 200 rupees daily to the police, 3,000 rupees per month to the MCD officials, and 1,500 rupees per month to the metro police. If he refused to provide free goods to any police officer or CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) team, they would seize all his merchandise. The metro station manager could also come and collect a fine of 400 rupees whenever he wanted. Despite having all this information,
Abhishek realized that he might barely make around 10,000 rupees a month after deducting the necessary expenses and engaging in such corrupt practices.Considering the abundance of customers at such illegal places, Abhishek agreed to open the shop there, fully aware of all the conditions and demands. He realized that despite the risks, the business prospects were good, and that’s why he willingly accepted all the terms and conditions to set up his shop there.
The person whom the police had appointed for extortion on their beat would often engage in physical violence, abuse, and fights with people. Abhishek had also faced minor altercations with him several times.However, there came a time when Abhishek had grown tired of giving free goods to his cronies. When he refused to comply with their demands, some auto drivers, who were associated with Tabbal’s auto, which Abhishek mentioned earlier, beat him up to instill fear.
When Abhishek reached the police station to file a complaint, they simply gave him false assurances and dismissed him.Abhishek had the complaint written, stating that the person assigned to the beat also indulges in alcohol and drug abuse with criminals. He mentioned that in his presence, all the criminals engage in violence and the officer does nothing to stop it. Additionally, he highlighted that the officer supports them and extorts illegal payments from all the poor people.
The next day, Abhishek arrived at his shop location to find the police officer standing there with the same criminal he had seen before. By then, he had realized that his complaint had not resulted in any action being taken against the officer. Instead, it seemed that the situation was turning against him.Just then, the police officer approached Abhishek with the complaint paper and said, “The police station where you went to lodge your complaint, everyone there takes bribes just like me. And from now on, don’t dare show up here or else I’ll give you a warning.
“Abhishek understood the entire game now. The government he used to vote for with pride and enthusiasm, the same government was involved in this corrupt system. The police, MCD, traffic police, criminals—they all formed a deceptive facade that we could never fully comprehend.This is how all these elements come together, interconnected.”The police officer considers himself the owner of any market or footpath area that is associated with the safety and justice of the people. In a market of around 200 meters, more than 100 illegal shops are set up. These shops are charged an illegal rent, which is collected from them. They place a thug or an intimidating person there to ensure that people are scared and don’t question anything. Half of the illegal earnings from those shops go to the ones responsible for the illegal activities, while the other half goes to the police officer.The person who receives support from the police engages in criminal activities. They extort money from people, steal goods from shopkeepers for free, and gradually become a big criminal due to their support of the police in every crime. You often witness the negative impact of this in various incidents.The government that you elect for the progress of the country is the same government that chooses the police for your downfall. Every major market has a price. For example, in Delhi, the beat of Sadar Bazaar is considered the most expensive. Whoever becomes the police officer assigned to that area will have to pay crores of rupees to their superiors before even going to the station. Even in the future, they will continue to give half of their potential earnings.
Let’s explore how both the police and the common people contribute to corrupting the system
Illegal activities under the purview of the police
Red-light Areas –
This name is known to 90% of people associated with Delhi. It is a place where individuals who are living away from their homes in Delhi for employment purposes reside. They are unable to spare time for love or get married. This place exists to fulfill their physical desires. Red-light areas like these have been present in major cities for a long time, serving as a significant source of income for the police. To manage small brothels and sex workers in these areas, the police extract hefty amounts of money.
Illegal sale of alcohol or bootlegging
The sale of alcohol is considered legal, but there are specific timings for it. In states like Delhi, the sale of alcohol is permitted from 10 AM to 9 PM, and there are also dry days on government holidays. During such times, when it is night or a government holiday, some individuals sell alcohol illegally at higher prices. Despite being aware of this, the police allow this business to continue by accepting a significant sum. This illegal business has become so common that those involved in selling such alcohol at inflated prices have been given a distinct name for a long time – “saahasi,” which has also been depicted in many songs and movies nowadays.
Drug peddlers selling marijuana (ganja) and hashish (charas)
In every city, you will come across young men who are smoking drugs like marijuana and hashish in broken corners on the sidewalks. These individuals have taken the wrong path in life, either due to frustration or personal struggles, and they are in desperate need of proper guidance and support.The police also play a role in facilitating their activities. Drugs such as intoxicating substances from Pakistan or Indian hill towns, opium, marijuana, and hashish are brought with the help of the police and then sold. Most of their business takes place in pubs, discos, and clubs. The police actively contribute to pushing the younger generation into the trap of addiction.
People who set up roadside stalls
to sell small food and beverage items, mobile phone-related products, clothes, shoes, and various items related to tobacco and cigarettes, etc., often operate illegal shops to support their families. Every month, they pay a hefty sum to middlemen who pass it on to the police. Comparatively, do the salaries of the police officers who engage in extortion in every market not amount to a substantial amount? The middlemen receive 3-4 lakh rupees per month to run their extortion racket.
Those who operate e-rickshaws and autos on the roads
Have you ever seen e-rickshaws, autos, and similar vehicles in any city, such as Delhi, near bus stands or metro stations? The police impose exorbitant charges on them and subject them to numerous harassments. They have to pay the police up to 100 rupees per day just to be able to pick up passengers from designated areas.
Those who don’t follow traffic rules at red lights
In every city, you must have seen barricades on the roads. Apart from traffic police officers, local police officers occasionally come to the roads as well. Although they are primarily supposed to check documents or ask questions, they often resort to threatening and extorting money from people, even when there are no documents to be produced.
You must have often witnessed buildings being constructed in Delhi or any other place. A jeep from the police station visits such sites and finds some fault with the construction, demanding a hefty sum of money. These amounts can sometimes go up to 3 lakh rupees.
At the borders of any state, when any illegal goods are smuggled across, the police extort a significant bribe. They collect a hefty amount for smuggling banned items like drugs and, at times, even illegal weapons. Recently, in Haryana, an entire gang involved in illegal sand mining was caught, and it was found that the police were also involved.
Gambling, lottery, and bettingGambling openly takes place in every village and city in India. This allows the police to collect a considerable amount of money. Additionally, various types of gambling are conducted at fairs and markets, but only after a suitable bribe has been paid.Harassing couplesTaking advantage of new laws, these days, couples riding bikes or engaging in romance in parks are not only targeted for counseling but are also threatened and extorted for money.These are just a few examples of how the police find ways to extort money from people who are engaged in various activities, including running factories, hospitals, laboratories, or small businesses. Despite a person’s honesty, they are forced to give bribes to make their lives easier.There are countless other small tasks that you may have also carried out at some point by paying money...
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