National Press Release – to be released across India
26 December 2016 – for immediate release
Police corruption, which has been increasing relentlessly for 70 years in India, seems to have reached a new peak, Swarna Bharat Party President Mr Sonawani said today. And Mr Modi is doing nothing to implement the essential governance reforms that can eliminate political, bureaucratic and police corruption.
Professor James Tooley’s recent book, Imprisoned in India, shows the extent to which the rot has spread in the system. Prof. Tooley is a world-leading researcher in the field of school education. He has undertaken extensive research and supported low cost private schools in India for a decade. But to the police, none of that matters. He was imprisoned in Hyderabad by the Police without any charges. The alleged “investigation” against him by the Police entirely fraudulent. Not only is every police officer cited in the book corrupt, many acted like ruffians, including trying to frighten Prof. Tooley with a gun.
Prof. Tooley was finally able to leave India after four months during which his passport was confiscated by the corrupt police. The bribe demand by the police and Home Ministry from Prof. Tooley continues. His university in England has forbidden him to return to India.
Prof. Tooley’s experience also highlights the plight of “undertrials” in India, a euphemism for the hundreds of thousands of Indians jailed without charge for weeks, months, even years. Many of these people are jailed by the police with the sole intention of extracting bribes.
To support their bribe demands, the police habitually cook up fake “evidence”. Recently, the SBP President, Mr Sanjay Sonawani discovered that the Wagle Estate Police in Thane (West) has fabricated a statement purportedly by him and provided it to the court.
Mr Sonawani had attended the marriage of a friend in 2012 in Thane and signed as one of the witnesses to the marriage. In mid-2015, Thane police called him about a complaint lodged by his friend’s wife. The police wanted Mr Sonawani’s statement but as he was busy, he requested to be contacted a month later. The Police did not call him, instead, they cooked up his “statement”.
Mr Sonawani came about this only 18 December 2016, when he discovered that a charge sheet had filed by Wagle Estate Police in the court against his friend, and as part of evidence provided was his “statement” in the presence of one Mr. N. M. Gholekar (API). Mr Sonwani had, of course, never seen or met Mr. Gholekar.
Mr Sonawani has complained to the Thane Police Commissioner and DGP of Maharashtra, but has very low hopes from this rotten system. Courts are being misled, fake cases and bogus “statements” are being filed across the country. A systemic assault is being made by the police on the foundations of society.
The Modi government, however, seems to be incapable of addressing the underlying causes. SBP had asked Mr Modi to implement a range of reforms through its Open Letter dated 26 August 2016, but Mr Modi has done nothing about these reforms. Once again, SBP asks Mr Modi to implement urgently needed reforms of the electoral system and bureaucracy. And in the two cases cited, SBP asks that the relevant police officers be investigated and prosecuted.
Notes for Editors
SBP is India’s only liberal party, committed to defending liberty and promoting prosperity.
Sanjay Sonawani (Pune), National President, +91 9860991205
Alok Kumar (Ghaziabad), National Vice President and President UP State Unit, +91 9999755334