Date: 05 Oct 2011


THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, LONDON, 4 OCT 11. P. 20. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ A KILLING TOO FAR: INDIA RISES UP AGAISNT POLICE CORRUPTION \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ By Dean Nelson in New Delhi. -----------\\\\\\\\\\\\\ As a prosperous and colourful trader in Old Delhi’s spice market, Amarjeet Singh Chadha had no reason to worry when a policeman flagged him down on his way home from work, all the top local officers were daily visitors to his shop where he gave them free dried fruit. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ But this time the head constable wanted more. He climbed into the passenger seat, snatched Mr Chadha’s prized gold chains from his neck and shot him three times. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The killing was the latest in a series of attacks by corrupt police officers that has provoked a new campaign by India Against Corruption, the group led by Anna Hazare, whose hunger strike brought the government to its knees last month. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Last week his supporters raided New Delhi’s Parliament Street police station and demanded all its officers sign a pledge not to demand bribes. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Many Indians are afraid to go to a police station to report a crime because the fear they will be attacked or threatened if they do not give bribes ranging from a few hundred rupees for chai-pani (tea and water) to thousands of pounds. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ A survey by Transparency International in December last year found that just over half of all Indians had paid a bribe in the previous year and almost three quarters believed corruption was on the rise. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ In Mumbai more than 250 police officers have been charged with corruption in the past 10 years, while Delhi’s Anti Corruption Branch found 59 police officers had been charged with corruption since 2007. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Last week, four or five officers beat to death Anand Lal Gupta, a truck driver, because he refused to pay a 5,000 rupee (£70) bribe. Mr Gupta, 50, was driving 950 miles from Ghaziabad just outside Delhi to Calcutta when he was stopped at a checkpoint near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, in the early hours of last Monday. His son, Ashwani, who was with his father, said the officers became angry at his refusal to pay and started beating him. Ashwani begged them to let him take his father to hospital, but instead they were bundled into a car, driven 20 miles and duped on the hard shoulder. When they finally reached the hospital Mr Gupta was dead. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ News of his death circulated quickly among his fellow truck drivers who blocked the national highway and clashed with police who used live bullet rounds to disperse them. Television news footage of police heating the truckers with long bamboo “lathis” caused further outrage. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Following Mr Chadha’s killing in Delhi his nephew Harsimran Singh spoke of his dismay not only at his uncle’s death, but at the behaviour of police officers as he lay dying on the street. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ “The constable who shot my uncle broke his leg while trying to run away. He had to have an operation and the Delhi Police took this criminal to a well-developed hospital. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ “But for our uncle they did not know where the nearest hospital was. It took two hours to arrange an ambulance and they took him to one which didn’t have an intensive care unit,” he said. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ When they reached the hospital, doctors demanded cash as Mr Chadha lay bleeding to death, he said. Mr Singh added, “People are being killed for greed. Everyone is saying our saviours, the police, are now our killers,” he said. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ A spokesman for Delhi police declined to comment. The head constable is in police custody but no charges have been issued. Kiran Bedi, formerly India’s most senior police officer and now a leader of the anti-corruption movement, said more honest people would be killed before police corruption was tackled. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ “The habit of corruption will not go (away) so easily,” she said. ====================== 000000000