ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Overburdened Police Force

Shortcomings of India’s Internal Security

Keeping India Safe: The Dilemma of Internal Security by Vappala Balachandran, Noida: Harper Collins, 2017; xx+308, 599.

The Indian police have an enormous internal responsibility that ranges from solving crimes such as murder, rape and robbery, to investigating offensive odours and infectious diseases, cracking down on illegal constructions, and protecting high-end hotels and shopping malls. As Vappala Balachandran notes, in this lucid, personal, anecdote-filled and narrative-driven account, in 2014 there were a staggering 72,29,193 cognisable crimes in India. A third of these fall under the Indian Penal Code and the rest are considered to be minor acts. Remarkably, all of these offences are within the purview of the Indian police as potential crimes which they have the power to investigate. That the police do not share internal security functions—through different agencies specialising in particular crimes—critically impedes these powers and minimises their potential for success.

In Charge of Everything

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