Trainee police officers get insights into marginal groups
Hyderabad, June 18 (IANS) For the trainee Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, the field visit to Warangal and Karimnagar districts Monday was an eye-opener as they interacted with marginal communities and learnt about their realities and aspirations.
A total of 145 trainee officers, including 23 women, from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) here visited Vangapahad in Warangal district in batches and interacted with female sex workers, transgenders, and men who have sex with men (MSM) to have a practical engagement with the marginalised communities.
The trainee police officers gained first-hand knowledge of the difficulties the communities face in their daily lives, how they overcome challenges of violence, social exclusion, HIV, the uncertainties of work, and the constant fear of police raids.
The field visit to sensitise the trainees followed the workshop at SVPNPA organised by the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) with support from Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust, Alliance India and 365x6 Project.
"The seminar and the sensitisation towards the marginalised community couldn't have come at a better time. For me, personally, it was an eye-opener as I was able to understand some of their legitimate grievances towards the police," said Annamalai, a trainee IPS officer of Delhi cadre.
"The workshop gave us an entirely new perspective into identifying sex workers, transgenders and gays as marginalised communities and understand the problems faced by them, the legal framework pertaining to them, and the grey areas in this legal framework," said Anand Sharma, another trainee officer.
According to CFAR officials, the workshop was unique for being the first of its kind to be organised at the National Police Academy to sensitise the officer trainees to issues concerning these communities.
V.N. Rai, director of the SVP National Police Academy, asked the young recruits "to distinguish between legal, social and moral policing" and stressed that the job of police is not to de-criminalise but to conform to the rule of law and keep in mind the side-effects of intolerant policing.
"Marginalised communities are those who do not get the protection of law or those who do not enjoy their legal rights. Society has its own way of profiling situations and communities but police have to follow laws," he said.
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