Introduction: Mizoram state is acclaimed as the ‘Island of Peace’, in an otherwise turbulent North-East. The state is enjoying peace and tranquillity, barring a few acts of insurgency in border areas during the last 30 years, that is, ever since the peace accord was signed in 1986.
During the Insurgency period, The People had suffered Numerous Human Rights Violations, which prompted the retired Brigadier T. Sailo to establish Human Rights Committee to fight against the Human Rights Violation committed against the people of Mizoram.
Since the Beginning of the era of peace in the history of Mizoram, Mizoram Police has been striving hard to preserve peace and upheld the (Human) rights of the people of Mizoram and firmly deal with disruptive forces that are concomitant with social changes and economic growth.
The Mizoram Police Force is headed by the Director General of Police (DGP) assisted by officers in the Headquarters and officers-in-charge of Special and various filed units. The Police administration in the district is headed by an officer of the ranks of Superintendent of Police. The state is divided into 8 Police districts, parallel to the revenue districts.
ROLE OF MIZORAM POLICE IN PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS: The Mizoram Police has done quite well in preserving the human rights of the people of the state. Accidents and unfortunate incident happened once in a while that could be taken as amounting to the violation of human rights of an individual. But as a whole, the Mizoram Police has done a commendable job in protecting human rights in the society and in their functions and workings.
1. There is no distinction and discrimination based on gender and religion and race from the part of the Mizoram Police.
2. Lesser Custodial death occurred compared to other parts of the country. There are recent cases where there is custodial death. That too was not a result of the action of Police but more or less suicidal hanging inside the lock-up. Care was taken to make sure that suicidal hanging in the Police custody never happened again.
3. Strict compliance of the Supreme Court directions regarding arrest and detention.
4. Strict compliance of the rules and the directions of the supreme court in dealing with women.
5. Mizoram Police has its own Manual (Mizoram Police Manual, 2005) and its own act, the Mizoram Police Act, 2011 so that the Police personnel act in accordance with the laws and to the best of their abilities to preserve life and human rights in civil Society. These Manual and acts are one tiny steps in an efforts to metamorphose the “Ruler’s Police” into the “People’s Police”.
6. The Mission Statement of the Mizoram Police reads
Mizoram police resolves to give people an efficient, law abiding and responsive law Enforcement machinery.
The purpose of Mizoram Police is to uphold the law fairly and firmly; to uphold the rule of law; to prevent crime;
To pursue and bring to justice all those who break the law; To keep the peace with active Co-operation and in partnership with the community;
To protect, help and reassure the people and to be seen to do all this with integrity, common sense and sound judgement.
We must be compassionate, courteous and patient, acting without fear or favour of prejudice to the rights of others.
We need to be professional, calm and restrained in the face of violence and apply only that force which is necessary to accomplish our lawful duty.
We must strive to reduce the fears of the public and, so far as we can, to reflect their priorities in the action we take.
We must respond to well-founded criticism with willingness to change.
7. Its Vision statement also reads that o preserve a high quality of life and feeling of safety for the people, Mizoram Police are committed to:-
Ensure optimum public safety and security to enhance a quality of life in the community through community policing at all levels.
Serve with professionalism, respect and concern for the community for preventing and detecting crime.
Develop an effective communication within the organization and those who we serve.
Promote a safe, equitable work place and suitable atmosphere for the professional development of employees to their fullest potential.
Develop quality law enforcement concepts and use technology, involving every member of the department in efforts to improve all areas of administration and operations.
Provide quality leadership at all levels, promoting transparency in decision making and ensure accountability.
Maintain the highest professional standards and shall bring honour to the profession and built trust, confidence and respect with the people of the State of Mizoram to ensure transparency in work to make a corruption free force.
Build a strong police – public relationship for better inputs regarding criminals and prevention of crime.
8. Both the Mission statement and the vision statement also clearly highlight the wills and intent to preserve and upholds the dignity and rights of an individual.
9. Community policing has been a success in Mizoram. The Village Defence Party Act has been enacted in Mizoram so as to enable an effective and lawful community policing so as to ease the burden on the shoulders of an executive Police Force. The Citizens themselves are working day and night to prevent crimes, protect their homes, families, rights and dignities helping the Police Force in a great way.
The different Units of VDP in the 8 Districts of Mizoram under the VDP act are:-
a) Saiha District- 62 Units
b) Lawngtlai District- 56 Units
c) Lunglei District-9 Units
d) Serchhip District-20 Units
e) Champhai District- 52 Units
f) Mamit District-14 Units
g) Kolasib District-19 Units
h) Aizawl District-167 Units
Apart from the VDP, different NGOS and VOS like YMA, YLA, and MTP etc. are actively participating in Community Policing.
10. As and when needs arise, a different types of Circular has been issued from different Stake holders under the Police Department to tackle different types of problems and questions pertaining to Human Rights and other Issues.
11. The concept of ‘Citizens Friendly Police’ has been given a strong importance and the mentality to carry out citizens Friendly Policing has been wielded through different Training, Orientations and workshops. Now, the Citizens considered Mizoram Police as their friend and they no longer display antagonistic attitude towards them. A system of ‘Complainant satisfaction index’ has also been put in place where a complainant can gave direct feedback to the Superior officers on the IO so that, there is no intrusion and overriding of the rights and dignity of a private citizens.
12. According to RN Mangoli and Ganapati M Tarase in their Paper, entitled “A study of Human Rights Violation by Police in India” Published in the International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, Vol3 No 2, December, 2010, at the time of Publication of the paper, There was no complaint of Human Rights violation by the Policemen. The authors of the paper since 1999 has been making an attempt to gather details on cases where human rights are violated due to Police excesses such as ‘Illegal detentions’, ‘Torture’, ‘Fake Encounters’, ‘Extortions’ etc. National Crime Record Bureau, New Delhi and National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi. Even in that regard, the record against the Mizoram Police reads as NIL.
CONCLUSION: Although, there’s no denying the fact that Mizoram is one of the very few states, which are yet to establish the State Human Rights Commission, Mizoram Police is one of the best Performing Unit as compared to other parts of the Country on the grounds of protection and upholding of human rights. That is a fact, which we are very proud of. But there is a large scope for improvement from the civil society and from the Police Society in Mizoram. The State is gearing up to establish an effective and efficient SHRC and the Mizoram Police is on the way to amend the Mizoram Police Manual and the implementation of Mizoram Police Rules.
(Written for presentation at OHCHR Universal Periodic Review at Guwahati, 2016)