Is Karnataka Turning into a Police State?
February 03, 2009
Bangalore Mirror had an article today on cops busting a party at the Dell office off Koramangala.Here's an excerpt from the article:
" They [the cops] landed at the office and demanded to be let in, but the security guards refused. “The police said they were acting on a complaint from a resident who could not sleep peacefully because of the noise in the party. We told the police that there are no residences in the area, but they were not ready to listen,” another Dell employee present at the party said.An argument broke out between the police and the guards. After some time, the police forced their way in and seized the audio systems. A few security personnel were taken to the Airport Police Station for questioning. Though no techie was arrested, the employees were warned against holding late night parties "
If this isn't police high handedness, then I don't know what is! I agree that the music shouldn't be so loud that it disturbs the residents around. All that the cops needed to do on receiving such a complaint would have been to send a couple of constable and ask the employees to tone it down a bit. Confiscating the audio system and detaining the security personnel seemed uncalled for and smacks of police high handedness.
As soon as I read this article a couple of thoughts came to me. First of course was, are the cops entitled to do this? After all, the party was in a private property, not a public place. Can they barge in based on a complaint by someone and detain a few people and confiscate property? Second, shouldn't there be some laws in place governing such police acts? I'm no expert, but there must be rules laid down on how cops need to act in such situations. Otherwise it's like we are in a police state where cops can barge in to a private property anytime and confiscate property and arrest people.
I'd really like some legal expert to clarify this. And I hope he or she tells me that it's illegal for cops to do what they did at Dell. Otherwise it would mean that cops can enter any private property at their whims and fancy. I shudder to think what that would mean for ordinary citizens like me. Cops can come barging in my front door any day and confiscate my audio system because they received some complaint from someone. They could arrest me because I had a few friends over on the weekend and we played music past 11.30!!
Where are heading as a state? First the government restricts night life past 11.30. Instead of better policing, cops shut the city down by 11.30 and hope no crime takes place past that time. Then they ban dancing at pubs. They talk about banning pubs altogether now as that's where all the crime in the city happens apparently! Then they get into private property, the DELL office, to shut down a private party. That's important - to SHUTDOWN the party! Not ask the folks there to mellow their music down, but to shut it down and to warn them against late night partying! And next, it could be your home or mine. They could come in asking me not to drink past 11.30 or play music past 11 PM.
Where will this stop? For how much longer do we put up with this? Would we allow the state to dictate what we do inside our homes? Why were the techies warned against partying late night in private property? What business does the state have interfering with such high handedness in matters inside a private property, specially when there wasn't any henious crime or illegalities happening - except maybe for loud music? I'd really want to know if this is legal in India? Do the cops have such powers? Knowing how our police force is currently, I really hope to God that they do not have such powers!
Karnataka is slowly turning into a police state. One by one our freedoms are being restricted. We choose to remain quiet! I don't think people have realized that this will have dangerous consequences for all. We need to do something about such intrusive and unacceptable policing! By the way, I have music playing in my room as I write this. It's past 12.30 now and I'm hoping I don't hear a knock on the door now!
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Is Karnataka Turning into a Police State?
- » Published on February 03, 2009
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Author: Roshan Krishnan
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