High Court raps cops over ‘offensive’ term for African national - ECAS Punjab

High Court raps cops over ‘offensive’ term for African national

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14

The Punjab Police have been caught in a racism row. Amidst worldwide demonstrations against racism and racial discrimination, the police was found using a "highly offensive" word for an African national in its final investigation report filed before a trial court.

'Don't judge by colour of skin'

The investigating officers and police officials that record FIRs should be immediately sensitised and warned on the issue by ensuring that no person should be looked down upon on the basis of the colour of his/her skin. — Punjab and Haryana High Court

Rapping the police for its "terrible thinking" and bringing "shame to India and hatred for the country", the Punjab and Haryana High Court asserted the "pernicious practice" was socially unacceptable, "but what can one expect from an uneducated and insensitive constabulary".

Asking the state Director-General of Police to intervene, Justice Rajiv Narain Raina asked him to consider and notify instructions, asking the police force never to use offensive terms in case papers. They should simply be referred to by the country of their origin, Justice Raina added.

"The investigating officers and the police officials that record FIRs be immediately sensitised and warned on the issue by ensuring that no person should be looked down upon on the basis of the colour of his/her skin," Justice Raina asserted.

Apparently referring to a cricketer's allegations of racism during India stint, Justice Raina added: "For many centuries we have been slaves. Freedom does not lend its wings to our countrymen to fly anywhere they wish and in any manner they like and abuse foreigners on the street calling them kaala".

The order has its genesis in a regular bail plea filed in a drugs case by Amarjit Singh. Justice Raina asserted he was appalled to find the term while referring to an African national in

the challan papers.

"This is a highly offensive word across the globe and no one has any business to use it and much less the police.... The police appear to have assumed that every black is a drug peddler and should be treated as such," Justice Raina added.

He added that they deserved dignity and respect as visitors or students while temporarily living in India, which took pride in having people of all skin colours ranging from white to black and aboriginal. "All Africans are our friends and when they come to India, either as visitors or students, they are our valuable guests and we should be reminded that India is rich in its traditions of 'mehman nawazi' and 'attithi sanskar/satkar,'" Justice Raina added.

Alluding to Mahatma Gandhi, Justice Raina added he was politically nurtured in South Africa for two decades, pioneering the apartheid movement, fighting against colour discrimination and for freedom against "black laws".

He said the aspect required correction by ordering strict action against the policemen indulging in character assassination based on physical features. The Bench has kept the matter pending for information on action proposed to be taken.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/2UKikjN

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