The first thing that strikes when we talk about a police officer is a strict decorated officer person, whose mere presence can make you shiver even in summers.
Don’t know why, but my idea of a policeman was not different until I met Mr. Narinder Patial, Station House Officer, Sector 11 Chandigarh. A few minutes of interview and Mr. Narinder Patial completely changed my beliefs about police. Here are a few abstracts of my discussion.
Thank you very much for your time, sir. To start with, I would really like to know, how the journey began?
Well, the journey of joining Police force started with a tragedy. In 1991, I lost my father (was serving Chandigarh Police) in a town’s biggest bomb blast. I was 18+ that time and was studying in DAV College, Chandigarh. On compensatory grounds, I was appointed as an ASI. And, then in 1999 had my first promotion as Sub Inspector. In 2010, I was promoted to Inspector rank and till today, I am serving the department as an Inspector.
What was the source of motivation?
My source of motivation is my love for the job. After completing my departmental training, when I had my initial interactions with city people, I learned so many things from the society and department, quite obviously.
I believe, having the right intentions of doing your job, you can help people. People expect a lot from police. For them, we are the only hope.
Should we give them proper treatment and as a policeman should we lend our empathetic ears to their grievances, we can sort many things and we can fulfill their expectations; at least 80% of their expectations.
And, for me, I try my level best to help as many as people I can and when justice is served, that is the moment of contentment and my source of motivation.
Isn’t an irony, sir, “those who should, they are not scared at all and those who should not, they live in a fear.” Why do people scare of police?
Well, I have two definitions of the fear you are talking about. The one is fear of “physical punishment” and the other one is “fear of the law.” Nowadays, people are more educated and they are aware of their duties and responsibilities.
I personally believe, instead of using physical punishments, we can put that culprit behind the bars for the deserved period, by proving him guilty in the Honorable court.
But, for that, we must learn how to accurately enforce the law and how not to leave loopholes in investigations. I don’t need a stick to do that and all I need is a pen.
How about the pressures from elite class?
I never experienced such pressure. If I am talking about Chandigarh, we do not have any such political pressure upon us at all.
I agree, there are pressures and I cannot deny from that. But, I believe a proper explanation is what you need in those situations. Ask that particular person pressurizing you; reconstruct the crime scene, but putting his own people in place of victims.
I try to make them understand that criminal is a criminal. So, in my case, I never experienced such kinda pressure.
Police job is full of stress. How do you manage with it?
Indeed a right question. Police job means you are always on duty; 24×7 and 365 days a year. It is not that after signing off from my duty, I can make myself inaccessible.
I have a government mobile phone and I am supposed to make sure my availability on that, as and when people need me, regardless of the duty hours. I believe, I am here for the people and I must make myself available whenever they need me.
I love my job and I am passionate about love helping people and perhaps this is the only reason, I never feel any kind of stress. I always try to motivate my coworkers.
I keep telling them that working a few extra hours occasionally is not going to affect anything, but can bring a big change in the society.
There are hundreds of other government organization working around the clock. But, why the presence of police department is always counted? The reason is – people expect so much from us.
They need us for peace and security in the town. So, instead of taking it as a burden, consider it a responsibility and honor. But, if you start taking it as a burden, you are surely going to stress out.
What was the toughest experience so far?
I would like to mention the very famous case of – Zulfiqar Khan’s sodomy case (accused of having unnatural sex with people associated with his NGO).
That was the toughest case so far, where I had to face all kinds of oppositions. Many other NGOs were initially in his favor, but as I said, I enforced the law correctly.
With the strong evidence against him, I managed to put the culprit behind the bars for 14 years.
What about the increasing number of crime especially snatching incidents?
The reason behind these rising numbers is our carelessness. But, we can control these. The best suggestion that I can give here is – “dear sisters, mothers, and daughters if you are carrying a purse; always hold that on your left side i.e. left shoulders.
As the right side of yours is easily accessible from the road, so you become an easy target for these snatchers.”
Try to limit your conversation on the mobile phone, especially when you are on the road. If something is really important, use kerb/footpath area and stay as far as you can from the road. Do not be an easy target.
We are talking about women empowerment, which is a wonderful thing. But, I have heard a lot about fake cases lodged by women. How are those dealt?
Undoubtedly there are such cases and we deal with them on a routine basis. After proper inquiry and evidence filing, if found fake, we cancel those cases.
For those fake cases, we have section 182. But, I personally feel we need some amendments in that sections and there must a strict punishment against all such fake cases.
What is your idea about elections in colleges and universities?
During my tenure, I was appointed as officer-in-charge twice during university (Panjab University, Chandigarh) election. I believe, there is nothing wrong in the elections and elected bodies within colleges and universities.
I have seen many political party leaders delivering lectures. As far as they are concerned with the betterment of students, I feel no trouble. But, what disturbs me as a person is when they try to use students as the vote bank. With elections, I am fine. However, vote bank politics; I feel that is not right.
Sir, I am the great admirer of your fitness. What is the secret?
And, what is the secret behind that happiness?
Again, I love my job. I am passionate about it. Although, I have tight schedule while serving my jurisdiction as S.H.O, yet I manage to get time for exercise and for the gym.
My idea is, if I am physically fit and mentally prepared, then only I can help others in the right way. An unfit and mentally unstable person cannot help anyone.
I try to be as happy as I can. I am satisfied with my job, and I really enjoy working against the crime.
I personally feel youth is becoming uncontrollable and impatient. Do you feel the same way and who do you think is responsible?
Well, I have mixed opinions. There are both good and bad elements and that are in every society. There are cases, though.
I feel the primary reason behind this is – parenting. When it is about impatient kids, every second person loves to play the blame game.
“This is happening in the country and that is happening in the country. Our whole country needs an improvement.” I would like to contradict here. I believe there is no one who can correct things on the larger scale.
But, how about starting things from your own home and taking responsibility for your own kids. Why cannot I check, what my son or daughter is doing in my absence?
If I really want my kids to stay on the right track, it is my duty to keep an eye on them regardless of where they are and how far they are.
I must say, let us (parents) take the responsibility of keeping our kids on track and rest is assured.
Sir! Any message to your followers.
All I want to say is people must change their perception about police. We are for you and we are the people you need all the time, right from the birth to death. Do not take us negatively. We are for the people and by the people. You must bank upon us.
I am not denying from a few wrongdoers in my department. Well, they are in every department. But, not all fingers are same.
There are changes everywhere. If people are changing at their end, we are also introducing the same healthy changes within the department.
I would also like to request, especially the youth, “if you see something, say something.” Should you see something offensive or illegal, please do not take that lightly.
Do report to us or the police person you can trust. You can contact me directly without wasting any time. Let us make this society a crime free society.
Thank you very much! Sir.
This was abstract. But, off the record the I would like to tell you about a few other interesting contributions of Mr. Narinder Patial that really inspired me. He is the person behind rehabilitating many locals with criminal records.
I have never seen a policeman helping people in educating them, rerouting them from the illegitimate places to educational diploma centers and then, placing them as plumbers, electricians, and carpenters.
From Mr. Patial I learned that counseling is the biggest tool. Talking to someone, listening to their grievances and blessing them with a chance of restarting their life, is all we need.
Once a criminal is not always a criminal and bringing them closer to you is the best way of bringing them back from the dark alleys of crime.