‘Police Tumi Jatoi Baro, Tomar Beton Ekshobaro…..Whatever aggression do you show, remember police your salary is one hundred twelve bucks.’ This one and ‘Policer Lathi Diya-salaier Kathi….Police batons are like match sticks’, are two popular Bengali slogans in the state in our childhood. In a left bastion like Tripura it’s not an exception. Police is believed to carry the legacy of British colonial oppression and so was the fact that the salary of sub-ordinate police officer continued to be rupees one hundred and twelve for quite a long period. We have witnessed many police reforms including the pay structures and perhaps few more will follow.
But, I feel that here police means the police personnel who used to wear red caps. They are basically armed police. The practice of wearing red caps is perhaps still in vogue in Punjab, Maharashtra and some other states. Now, the sub-ordinate ranks of armed police personnel wear khaki cap, others wear blue beret cap. After joining police service I have noticed a healthy race between the two wings of police specially in sub-ordinate level, each claiming supremacy over the other. The other day, I have witnessed a nice verbal dual on this issue.
The civil cop said, ‘We can even cause a dead man to suffer imprisonment.’
- Once a rich man Swapanbabu from a distant village was sentenced for imprisonment for seven years by a court for committing an offence. Unfortunately, he expired in jail after spending three years. The local police station authority was asked to convey information to the next of kin of the deceased. So, the civil Daroga visited his house. He found the wife of the deceased and three adult sons living merrily with the property left by Swapanbabu.
Seeing this, Darogababu chalked out his plan and said to the bereaved family members, ‘You see Swapanbabu had expired in jail after suffering only three years jail terms out of seven. It’s a default case, now you have to complete the remaining four years. You are four share holders of his property, wife and three sons. So, the equation is very easy, each one of you has to undergone one year’s term.’
The family members were in a fix. They requested Darogababu if there was any way out. Darogababu said, ‘You make five part of your property contributing equal share and give one part to me to manage a person for undergoing the remaining jail term of Swapanbabu.’ Swapanbabu’s family members accepted the proposal and made the Darogababu richer.
The armed cop said, ‘Your one is a cheating. But, once we have deprived the Prime Minister from receiving the Guard of Honour.’
- It actually happened on the day of Swapanbabu’s death. Hon’ble Prime Minister was visiting that place. Some of our comrades were not happy that they were not selected in the contingent which was offering the Guard of Honour to the dignitary. So they arranged a procession with the dead body of Swapanbabu to pass the place just when the Prime Minister was to receive Guard of Honour. As per Drill Manual, a corpse is the highest dignitary. The Guard of Honour was offered to Swapanbabu’s dead body.’
I find the equation square.