Common Cause has undertaken a rapid study to evaluate the role of the police --- their attitude, preparedness and overall performance during the 50-day lockdown in India. The study is based on interactions with various stakeholders, including grassroots/ aid workers etc., migrant workers, civil society organisations, as well as analysis of police-related news reports.
Funded by the Lal Family Foundation in response to a Tata Trust initiative, the project also aims to identify and encourage good practice in the justice delivery system. It is part of a collaborative effort of various civil society organisations to examine the role of the police and to mine positive innovations of the Covid moment through rapid assessments of different ‘pillars’ of the justice system.
Common Cause has been conducting detailed interviews with aid workers actively working on the ground during the lockdown, as part of the study. There’s special focus on groups who had been providing relief measures to migrant workers. The workers themselves are being interviewed extensively as they were the worst affected during the lockdown. Their first-hand experiences with the police is expected to offer insights on the performance of the law enforcement agency.
The rapid study focuses on the National Capital Region, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Two separate questionnaires have been designed for aid workers and migrant workers, focussing on the attitude of police personnel towards these marginalised sections, their performance, work done by them along with regular policing etc. Telephonic interviews are underway.
The study also analyses news articles about policing in the media as a tool to understand the role of the police during the lockdown. All police-related news reports published from April 2020 to June 2020 by four national dailies (two each from Hindi and English) are being reviewed and analysed besides the survey of stakeholders.
Photo credit : Rahul Kotiyal