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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/20/15

World's Largest Democracy Metamorphosing Into The World's Largest Police State??

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TELANGANA (HYDERABAD, India) STATE POLICE'S LATEST BRAINCHILD: Cordon and Search Exercises -- Essentially a military option, being directed toward civilians.

We are unsure as to which section of the Criminal Code (henceforth, the CrPC) these Cordon and Search Warrants get their authority from, or the substance of the Warrant, nor WHO issued them (viz., to determine competency of the judge or whether he 'applied his judicial mind' before authorizing this widespread intrusion in the private lives of entire communities and neighborhoods during hours of darkness). There is no information as to whether any resident-victim of the Cordon and Search Operation was shown the substance of the Warrant as is required under CrPC Section 75 -- or whether there even exists a Warrant at all in the first place!

Knock and Enter
Knock and Enter
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These police excesses continue unabated because, as yet, no one has come forward to question them, eye to eye. Even the local courts seem to go along with the mockery while the passive public drowns in ignorance or wallows in apathy toward, what appears to be, extra-judicial methods of policing.

So, what of those who paid for out freedom with their blood? What of the Framers of the Constitution who came up with the magna carta, due process, and the Rule of Law? One thing's for certain: They don't have a Swiss bank account! But that's not the reason they're rolling in the grave: there is little indication of anyone holding on to the Torch they paid dearly for. Where's our independent Judiciary, the' last bastion of Justice', at a time we need them -- to examine, on a case by specific case basis, the constitutional validity of these arbitrary intrusions into private lives and homes.? Have they relinquished their suo moto powers to uphold the Constitution they swore to protect? Or, are these signs of the erstwhile ' world's largest Democracy' metamorphosing into the world's largest Police State?

Evidence; more appropriately, lack of evidence, certainly places serious doubt on the charismatic, straight-faced Cyberabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand's public declaration that all searches are carried out ''as per law''. It would be administratively impossible to generate Search Memos requesting Search/Arrest Warrants for each house in the neighborhood. What is the criterion set for designating entire neighborhoods as a 'Criminal Area'? Does a Cordon and Search Operation in a 'Criminal Area' inoculate it from criminal elements and render it worthy of the label, 'De-Criminalized Area! This area is free of crime'!?

If Extraordinary Warrants are, in fact, lawfully obtained, i.e., based upon good-faith, credible information, they would relate to a select few homes/individuals. But, one sees these organized assaults on entire neighborhoods by a horde of 200-plus beefed-up goon squads involves court-anointed muscle-flexing, house-to-house intrusion during hours of darkness, questioning of awoken residents including school-going children, the inspection of private and personal letters, documents, paperwork, photographs, heirlooms, and jewelry, etc. : a fishing expedition for anything suspicious; and the physical stifling of indignant complainants thru' utilization of typical strong arm tactics our police is notorious for.

If such excessive measures are routinely employed by police to 'deter crimes' or 'bring criminals to justice', or pursue 'possible' terror suspects, it does not take a genius to figure out that the best method for crooks to escape detection is to simply move into a neighborhood that already had its share of pong from the police's Cordon and Search presence. So, is there any logic to, or genuine necessity for these flamboyant, extreme, Cordon and Search operations in day-to-day/night-to-night routine police work absent a seriously imminent national emergency?

Bear in mind that the premise here is that an all-encompassing Extraordinary Warrant (per Criminal Code 144?) does in fact exist -- it is merely a premise. If it does not exist (chances are, it doesn't), or if the Warrant is facially flawed, then every arrest, detention, intrusion, etc., pursuant to the Cordon and Search Operation is a criminal, treasonous act perpetrated by the Police.

One may perhaps condone flawed laws enacted by our chosen legislature (who merely represent the modest IQ of the voting public), but, our Judiciary, being the last bastion of equity and justice should seriously deliberate suo moto upon such extreme, ongoing violations of Privacy and Human Rights they swore to protect.

There seems a real likelihood some elements of the judiciary may be unwittingly facilitating our transformation into a totalitarian Police State. So, now, who is to determine whether there exists an improper exercise of judicial functions the cumulative effect of which would be to lower the dignity of the Judiciary and further undermine the confidence of the public in the administration of justice? Who is to determine whether these 'Cordon and Search' operations represent racial profiling at work and are geared toward minority communities - or whether this is yet another covert indication of police opportunism?

I leave you with this thought from Justice William O. Douglas, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States:

"As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air--however slight--lest we become unwilling victims of the darkness."

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My dad, a retired United Nations' diplomat, entertained hopes for a 'bright future' for me. "An ambassador," he avowed; "a plenipotentiary, to make us all proud!" As my grades seemed to be plummeting in step with the higher levels of classes I was (more...)
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