Law College Dehradun, Faculty of Uttaranchal University, organized a National Webinar on ‘Challenges before Police Administration during Covid-19: An Overview and Solution’ on 27th June, 2020 with Mr. Rakesh Chandra, Former Special Secretary (Home), Govt. of U.P., Lucknow, as the Keynote Speaker. Mr. Chandra is a retired Civil Servant of 1981 Batch -Provincial Civil Service, Uttar Pradesh. Being an eminent scholar and a poet, he has authored several books on Law and besides this more than 40 Legal Research Papers have been authored by him and published in National/ International Journals. Presently he is pursuing Ph.D. (Law) from Lucknow University, India. He owns the collection of Hindi as well as English poems like “Moon is Black”, “Mere Sheher Me” and many more. His English poems have found place in different Poetry Journals and Newspapers’ Literary Supplements.
The enriching session, with over 300 active participants, began with the Welcome Address delivered by Vice Chancellor/Dean, Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University Prof. (Dr.) Rajesh Bahuguna. The Keynote Speaker, Mr. Chandra, remembering his past days when he was posted in Almora district of Uttarakhand as the Deputy Collector, talked about the old system of Police Administration and Dispensation of Justice in the country. He mentioned the events of 1857 uprising as the pivotal point of changes during British era when the Englishmen imposed their own judicial system in India in 1858 and the Police Act, 1861 was brought into force to suppress the Anti-British sentiments among the people. That very act became the crux of today’s Police Administration System in India. Speaking on Sardar Vallabhai Patel, he maintained that Patel was the architect of the modern Police Administration System during post independence period and also expressed his concern over reformations in the system post Vallabhai Patel’s untimely demise in 1950.
However, he also mentioned the other side of the police force, where the brutal and flawed nature of Police was exposed during Emergency period and explained how the tremendous furore of that period called for attitudinal changes among the policemen. He threw some light on how efforts have been put in to modernize the police department with respect to weapons and technology in the last couple of decades which have resulted in better service conditions and promotion avenues for them. The session moved ahead with the Keynote Speaker, Mr. Chandra, describing how the Covid- 19 onslaught has benefited in changing the brutal and insensitive face of the police on pan-India level to humane and gentle. He expounded how the Policemen have shown great patience in the macabre series of deaths due to Corona Virus and are still performing their duty without fear. The statistical data showcases policemen providing food and medicine to the ailing people and even performing the last rights of the people who were abandoned by their own families. He went on to rightfully describe them as angels in these lamentable circumstances and stressed upon the fact that policemen are also humans and rightfully command respect from the people.
The latter half of the event had the Keynote Speaker taking up doubts and queries of the participants. The audience showcased a wide diversity with not only students but also academicians & eminent personalities from India and abroad actively engaging in discussing the nuances & intricacies of the topic. Mr. Chandra took up queries related to the amendments in statutes and independent position of police during covid-19 and difficulties faced by them and suggested a few measures that can be taken to reduce those difficulties. He concluded the session on an optimistic note by emphasizing on the need to end the social distancing between the police and the people and the initiation towards treating them as friends in uniform.
The informative webinar concluded with the Vote of Thanks delivered on behalf of the Organizing Committee of Training and Recruitment Division, Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University.