Everyone loves a righteous police officer, especially those who take on representatives of the establishment who are misusing their power. M Mahender Reddy, the Telangana Director General of Police has seemingly donned the role of righteous cop attempting to weed out corruption in the state police.
In a remarkable development, he sent out a list of 395 errant police personnel who allegedly collect ‘mamools’ (monthly bribes/protection money) from businesspersons across the state, to all district police commissioners and Superintendent of Police, reported The Indian Express (TIE).
The list reportedly carries the names and numbers of Assistant Sub-Inspectors, Police Constables and Head Constables, who have allegedly carried out such criminal acts. By all accounts, this is the first time that the state police has admitted to the institutionalised practice of ‘mamools’ by police personnel known as ‘Special Parties’ attached to various police stations.
As per the directive sent out by the DGP, the police commissioners and SPs are expected to deal with the errant personnel by reassigning them to the nearest Armed Reserve Headquarters and strip them of any power.
How did the DGP collect, and subsequently name and shame these allegedly errant personnel? The publication reports that information on these personnel was collected through tip-offs from various victims and the state police intelligence department.
TIE accessed the email that the DGP reportedly wrote to his SPs and police commissioners. It said, “any further continuation of such practice in any form may lead to the drawing of an adverse inference against unit officers and sub-head concerned.”
What’s interesting is the allegation laid out by the DGP in his email.
“Please refer to the instructions on the abolition of special parties across the state. A tentative list of police personnel allegedly found indulging in the organised collection of monthly mamools unit wise has been forwarded just now for information. Some of them have already discontinued their activities, while a few others are still carrying on with them. This list is only indicative but not exhaustive. The list will also be dynamic as you start attaching the incorrigible to the AR Head Quarters. All SPs and Commissioners are requested to put an end to the menace of the organised collection of mamools at all levels by attaching the concerned to AR Headquarters with immediate effect wherever they haven’t discontinued the practice,” he reportedly wrote.
As a consequence of this development, the Telangana State Police issued an advisory asking owners of all commercial establishments not to pay ‘mamools’ or bribe to any police personnel. If businesspersons are asked for one, the advisory has asked them to report it.
In the 1973 Hollywood classic Serpico starring Al Pacino, which is about a police officer’s fight against rampant police corruption in New York, the lead character Frank Serpico says, “The reality is that we do not wash our own laundry—it just gets dirtier.”
This is what DGP Mahender Reddy is seemingly doing—washing the state police’s own dirty laundry before it gets any dirtier.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)