Kerela chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the police must go the motorists' vehicles for examining their documents rather than calling them to the police vehicle. He went on to say that the police must avoid being rude to the driver or the passengers. Vijayan made the statement at the State Assembly, adding that these directives were issued at zonal meetings in the presence of officers at sub-inspector level.
Not just this, the police have also been warned of strict action should they behave indecently during vehicle inspections. The usual drill so far involves the police stopping you and asking you to get off your car and present your documents. We hope that other states too follow suit and direct the state police to maintain a decorum during the process.
None of us are new to ill-mannered behaviour from some police officers after being pulled over for examination of documents. You will have instances of your own or of your friends and family where they narrate the police's stern behaviour. It would however be unfair to put the entire police department under a blanket statement.
The move comes after MLA Veena George pointed out that even women were called to the police vehicle for such inspections.
The directives initiated by the CM will be welcomed as a move towards a more civilised process for vehicle inspections, and they will also help improve the police's outlook. While the police are fulfilling their duty to make sure motorists have their documentation complete or not to let a criminal slip by, they must also understand that not everyone deserves to be treated as one.