Issues

Nominal representation of Muslims in the police force causing difficulties

New Delhi: Appointment of Muslim police officers in Muslim majority areas / localities in accordance with union home ministry’s secretary-level directions is found difficult to implement in the country, because of extremely small number of Muslims in police service. Their number is so small in police departments of the whole country that they are proving totally insufficient for being appointed in Muslim populated areas. According to the latest statistics of the union home ministry, out of the total police force of 16.6 lakh in the country, Muslim police officers and constables are 1.08 lakh. This means that their representation in this department is only 6 percent but the ground reality is that on the whole, in accordance with total population it is even less than 4 percent because out of 1.08 lakh Muslim officers, about half i.e. 46,250 are on duty in Jammu & Kashmir.

 
Muslim representation in Police
States
Total number
of police force
  No. of Muslim
officers
Percentage
Delhi 75,117 1,521 2
Maharashtra 1,82,971 1,945 1
U.P. 1,87,425 9,166 4.8
Bihar 65,476 3,084 4.5
A. P. 89,404 8,933 10
Karnataka 74,699 4,796 6.4
Rajasthan 76,356 954 1.2
J&K 76,805 46,250 60
All India 16,60,151 1,08,389 6

Further, according to official statistics, representation of Muslim police officers is worst or least in Delhi because out of a total of 75,117 officers in Delhi police, Muslim police officers are 1521 only which means that their representation in the police is about 2 percent only and hence appointment of Muslim police officers (of inspector or sub-inspector rank) in accordance with home secretary’s directive, is not possible. An English daily, referring to the latest statistics of police officers, has written that senior officers of the home ministry are worried about the low representation of Muslims in the police force.

It may be pointed out that Sachar Committee’s November 2006 report also has identified low representation of Muslims in police force alongwith government departments. This committee had recommended that in Muslim majority areas, appointment of Muslim officers is necessary for assessment of people’s opinion in general. Keeping these recommendations in mind, the government had recently instructed all the states through a circular that they should appoint Muslim police officers in police stations in Muslim majority areas.

Chairman of National Minorities Commission, Wajahat Habibullah has put the responsibility of low representation of Muslims in the police force on the states. He said that the process of recruitment of Muslims (in police) by states is very slow. He said that in Prime Minister’s 15-point programme, all the states were advised to give preference to candidates belonging to minority communities for recruitment in police force but very few states implemented these recommendations. According to this report, the number of Muslim officers is extremely small in states like U.P. and Bihar where the population of Muslim minority is fairly large. Representation of Muslims is 1 percent in Rajasthan Police because of which police very often becomes partial in dealing with any situation. He says that the presence of Muslim officers at I.P.S. level is necessary but even more necessary is the recruitment of Muslim officers at constable level.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2012 on page no. 2

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