In her first major step after doffing her police uniform, Kiran Bedi Thursday blasted police officers for inefficiency as she unveiled a network to register complaints from the public.
The retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer made it clear that her initiative would not serve as a parallel police but only register complaints when aggrieved citizens felt that they were being denied justice.
In announcing www.saferindia.com, however, Bedi, India’s first woman police officer who retired last month after 36 years in service, accused police officers of fudging crime figures.
She told reporters that police officials were misleading the media and citizens by manipulating crime statistics. “They never give you the right picture. Not even a single police officer has dared to reveal the correct crime graph.”
She also said that police officials were not addressing complaints from people, and by refusing to probe criminal cases were actually encouraging criminals.
“In my endeavour to bring reforms in policing, today we are launching a mechanism through which we would ask people to register their grievances with our website,” she said.
“The victims’ complaint would be forwarded to the respective police chiefs or director generals with a copy to the complainant,” Bedi said here, on the launch of ‘Mission Safer India’.
Bedi said the initiative had been taken to strengthen police services to provide a “Safer India”, not as an alternative to police responsibilities.
“People can only register their complaint (with us) once they have visited the police station and are not satisfied with investigative procedures. The complaints would be only forwarded to the respective police chiefs once they are completely scrutinised by our panel of retired police officials, law students and NGOs,” said the Ramon Magasaysay Award winner.
“No false, defamatory, libellous complaint based on personal revenge would be forwarded. We would take legal action against those found using us to settle their personal scores,” Bedi said.
She sought to clarify that “Safer India” would be a bridge between the police and the complainant, and not an investigating agency.
A former all-India and all-Asia tennis champion, Bedi is a household name. She quit the IPS after she was denied a chance to become the chief of Delhi Police, a post now occupied by Y.S. Dadwal, her junior in service.
Bedi has also served as deputy inspector general of police in Mizoram, inspector general of police in Chandigarh, director general of the Narcotics Control Bureau and as inspector general of police at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail. In Delhi Police, she was the joint commissioner of training and also special commissioner in charge of intelligence.