The title of the editorial we published on March 10, 2017 read: ‘Kerala Home Department a failure’.
That editorial was written in the backdrop of an incident in which three girls including two sisters committed suicide in Walayar, Palakkad after they were sexually assaulted on different days. Had the police intervened appropriately in the first incident related to the sexual assault, the other suicides would not have taken place. Those criticisms came not only on the Walayar incident, but also in the backdrop of the widespread complaints regarding the Home Department, given that there had been repeated failings on the part of police. Not only us, everybody who evaluated the Pinarayi Vijayan Government without any bias, had been pointing out the failure occurring in the Home Department. Now when the government celebrates the second anniversary, it is the complaints and criticisms against the same Home Department that has been tarnishing the reputation of the government the most. When the portfolio handled by the Chief Minister himself who heads the cabinet brings shame continuously, the impressive performance by other departments goes unnoticed. Lately, the incident in which a newly-married youth Kevin was abducted and murdered for his inter-caste marriage and the serious flaw on the part of police are what has been triggering scathing criticisms against the Home portfolio.
It was in the backdrop of murder of Jisha in Perumbavoor that the last assembly election took place and the LDF came to power. Tracking down Jisha’s murderer soon after coming to power, gave huge morale to the government. Above all, the expectation that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who handled the home portfolio would make a superb performance was also rampant. There is reason for that. He is a person who had in ample measure the personal qualities that a Minister handling the police department should possess. His image is akin to that of an iron man who has determination, commanding power and courage. However, when analyzing the actions of the police so far, not only has he been unable to bring about any positive changes to the general state of the police force, but a series of blunders have also been happening. That said, he might be the one and only person who still fails to realize these criticisms.
The chief minister is attempting to overcome criticisms by raising criticism against the media which however is only serving to make things worse. In his speech at the public meeting in connection with the government's second anniversary at Kollam on Tuesday, and in the press conference held on Wednesday after the cabinet meeting, the chief minister used the time to attack the press. It would appear as though he was using his strength and command not to correct the police but to bring the media to order. This may be helpful to make committed loyalists get elated, but will seriously affect the image of the government: a point the left leadership would do well to realize. It is a fact that within the CPM there is no one in a position to point out the failings of, and correct chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. It is his legacy as party secretary for 16 years and the consequent infallibility gained in the party that raised him to the level of an unquestioned personality. The circumstances are such that even those who disagree within themselves are unable to express it in the open. If things are moving in same direction as now, undoubtedly it will bring big losses to the government and the left front.
There is no denying that the police policy of the left front is by and large democratic and progressive in principle. But the problem is that in actual practice it is just the reverse. It was on the same day when Kevin murder was uncovered that, a young lady from Guruvayoor who had been detained in a Sangh parivar camp in Mengaluru, met the DGP with her complaint. She was subjected to torture because of having been in love with a youth from a different community. What the police should have done was to file a case on her complaint and bring the culprit before law. Not only that this did not happen, the DGP was not even prepared to entertain her complaint. From this one has to infer that things are not well in the police force right from the top. This also shows that the problem lies not in the police policy, but in the execution of law and order administration. Therefore, those in charge of administration should make correction. There is no point in hurling abuse at critics.