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Yashovardhan Azad
Articles by Yashovardhan Azad

To fight mob lynching, police reforms a must

Inclusion of this offence in the three proposed codes is welcome. But the police and some states flouting top court norms have to clean up their act

The states, so far, have been miserly in allocating funds to the police(HT Photo)
Published on Aug 22, 2023 10:33 PM IST

No room for vigilante justice in our society

To end the culture of encounter killings, look at the political climate that sustains it

Should encounter killings be celebrated in a democracy? Certainly not. (ANI)
Updated on Apr 16, 2023 08:37 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

India should rein in cow vigilante groups

Disband such outfits, pursue cases against them, provide scientific tools to the police and provide IDs for cows. Inter-state cooperation will be vital in this effort

In 2018, the Supreme Court issued guidelines to curb acts of violence in the name of cow protection. States governments should have paid heed (ANI Picture Service)
Updated on Feb 28, 2023 08:45 AM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

What CBI’s shrinking jurisdiction implies

Nine states have already withdrawn consent to the agency. This mistrust is not good in a federal structure. If the Centre is serious about fighting graft, it must make the CBI truly autonomous

The daily tu tu mai mai (back and forth) between the ruling party and the Opposition over the alleged misuse of central agencies is costing the nation. Indian democracy needs to move ahead (Shutterstock)
Updated on Sep 21, 2022 08:02 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

How to insulate the police from politics

A few good men need to stand together to question appointments, cases of arbitrary arrests, fight for honest policemen, and reflect on the rule of law and the future of our democracy

All operational posts in the police are under the scanner of the political executive. In most states, the ruling party cadre wields influence over the police working in their areas (Shutterstock)
Updated on May 17, 2022 09:23 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Make police reforms a national mission

To improve the force, enact the Model Police Act, 2006; appoint a senior officer in the PMO to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of various panels and DGP conferences

Police reforms languish because of the lack of political will, weak police leadership and an inefficient bureaucracy (Santosh Kumar / HT Archive)
Updated on Mar 30, 2022 09:24 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

For investigations, metadata is enough. Uphold privacy

Collaboration by law enforcement and corporates in studying metadata will render crucial leads in investigation. Further, Encryption must not be tinkered with, since metadata has much to provide that is yet unexplored.

While the pedantic definition of metadata is data about data, the practitioner’s definition is activity records (Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 24, 2021 09:32 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad and Anand V

Cheering for Pakistan’s cricket team isn’t sedition

India is too strong to be affected by the immature chants of a few. But penal action will breed alienation, erode democratic credibility

Babar Azam looks up to Virat Kohli as his role model. MS Dhoni shirts are worn by Pakistani fans. The cricket fraternity speaks a different language, quite distant from that of politics (ANI)
Updated on Nov 01, 2021 05:43 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

15 years after SC’s order, police reforms languish

To achieve the prime minister’s vision of a SMART and efficient police, the IPS leadership across the states must call for wide-ranging reforms within the system

It is unrealistic to expect CMs to allow autonomy to the police beyond a certain degree. In every democracy, the police function under a mayor or elected government, and in ours, where grassroots politics constantly hovers round thanas, kachahris and tehsils, it’s difficult to conceive of a police force that is impervious to political overtures. (HT archive)
Updated on Sep 21, 2021 05:45 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Insulating Kashmir from Kabul

The ingredients for a new terror offensive are present. But strong security measures and political initiatives can help prevent a return to the 1990s

Kashmir lies at the intersection of the agenda of LeT, JeM and ISI. With fears raised due to India’s response to terror, the Pakistani handlers of these outfits may shift jihadi training camps to Afghanistan and keep the staging posts near the Indo-Pak border to push in militants. (AFP)
Updated on Sep 07, 2021 05:34 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Pegasus: India needs urgent surveillance reform

Pegasus may not even leave traces of malware in infected mobiles, but it does permanently scar a democratic system. The United Nations rapporteur for freedom of expression has called for banning the manufacture, sale and use of such spyware. However, nations themselves must act in the interest of free speech and expression

Snooping is a grim reality since the days of Chanakya, or indeed, ever since human beings constituted themselves as political units and statecraft evolved. But while recognising the compelling circumstances that may make it necessary at times, it constitutes a grave threat to democracy. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 10, 2021 06:59 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Scrap sedition. Stop UAPA’s misuse

With a scathing indictment of its relevance and flagrant misuse, the Chief Justice of India has, finally, joined the chorus against the sedition law

From 2016 to 2019, there were 5,922 arrests under UAPA, but it resulted in only 132 convictions, a pitiable rate of 2.2%. (Representational image/ANI)
Updated on Jul 21, 2021 06:26 AM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Enable the Covid-19 task force to take decisions

The 12-member task force, comprising domain experts, inspires confidence. However, its advisory nature will leave the decisions again in the hands of the central bureaucracy, which is in the eye of the storm. Citizens want a professional, unbiased body to take decisions for which NTF is suitable

Software professionals assist municipal authorities inside a
Updated on May 12, 2021 05:24 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Maoism remains India’s biggest internal security threat

Managing India’s internal security cannot be a part-time job. There are too many challenges, and too many critical decisions to be made on a regular basis. An internal security ministry needs to be hived off from the MHA — the secretary of the ministry must be a specialist, either a serving or retired police officer of outstanding reputation, and this must be supervised by a full-time minister who is hands-on. This cannot afford to wait any longer.

Security forces officers carry the body of a colleague, who was killed in an attack by Maoist fighters, during a wreath laying ceremony, Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, April 5, 2021 (REUTERS)
Published on Apr 06, 2021 07:55 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

In the heart of Mumbai, a corrupt nexus

The Vaze-Singh-Deshmukh saga has exposed institutional and individual failure and underlined the need for reform

The Vaze incident is reflective of a deeper crisis. Maharashtra is a money-minting factory for political funding in electoral politics, cutting across all political lines, and Mumbai is its most productive core (Hindustan Times)
Published on Mar 23, 2021 07:41 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

In poll season, the security of leaders

Mamata Banerjee’s accident raises questions about the enforcement of security protocols and the role of institutions

Central and state security agencies have to play a much more assertive role; candidates must adhere to security and safety norms; EC should accept some measure of responsibility for lapses and take corrective measures (Samir Jana/HT Photo)
Published on Mar 15, 2021 07:27 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Can a protest toolkit attract sedition law?

Can the three activists be accused of instigating armed confrontation against the State? The evidence, so far, is certainly not enough to justify the charge. Yes, there was a propaganda blitz, aimed at garnering international support, based on a narrative of strong-arm tactics on the part of the government to crush the farm movement and discredit its efforts towards a solution. But the State could have had an alternative, more effective, response.

A woman holds a placard next to policemen during a protest against the arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi, Bengaluru, February 15, 2021 (REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 19, 2021 06:24 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Lessons from the tractor rally on R Day

Critical stakeholders, including Delhi Police, failed the Republic on January 26. It is time to ask difficult questions

In light of the destruction of public property and the attack on policemen, the damage done to the image of the Capital and to our democratic governance outweighs any advantage accrued by granting permission (REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 01, 2021 06:42 AM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Data bill: The security vs privacy debate

The Data Protection Bill also does not touch upon State surveillance methods. Who watches over the watchers? How can an officer of the same rank give permission to another for snooping? And how can another in the same system oversee its justification?

The JPC, hence, has a daunting task ahead, balancing the needs of State security against individual privacy. Giving entry to security agencies will compromise the encryption grid and data of millions. The State has to collaborate with tech giants in using the meta-data more meaningfully and for meeting other requirements without breaking the encryption. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Jan 24, 2021 06:26 AM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

HTLS 2020: Assessing risks and countering security threats in the new era

Two major terrorist attacks in the first decade of the 21st Century displayed paradigm shifts in tactics and methodology. The 9/11 attack emanated from a global terror alliance in pursuit of a virulent fundamentalist ideology. This led to security agencies tracing the leads of non-state actors determined to carry out such attacks globally.

Law enforcement agencies, trying to keep up with the latest technology on internet-based platforms, want to play it safe by gathering maximum data on their suspects and targets.(ANI file photo)
Updated on Dec 09, 2020 06:58 AM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Charting a reformed future for the police

Don’t allow political intervention, restrict use of extreme laws, embark on systemic changes

The police should be declared a professional organisation where the CEO, here, the director-general of police, has unfettered right over transfers of his field commanders and is held accountable for his actions(REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 26, 2020 08:03 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad and Arun Chaudhary

The police must stop acting like a political instrument

Caught in the crossfire between the states and the Centre, the police needs to assert itself to remain true to its commitment to the law.

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in Mumbai, October 27, 2020(PTI)
Updated on Nov 05, 2020 09:51 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Hathras horror: India must wake up, repair its justice system

It is imperative for state governments and the Opposition to come together now to restore our institutions, committed to women’s security and empowerment.

The Hathras shame is a gaping wound in the conscience of a nation aspiring to be a major global power.(PTI)
Updated on Oct 07, 2020 01:03 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

How the Delhi riots probe polarised society | Analysis

The police investigation has polarised the public. While a section finds the police biased for targeting the anti-CAA protesters, the other justifies the police action, clamouring for stringent legal action against the accused in the UAPA charge-sheet. The truth lies somewhere in between

It was a mammoth exercise to conduct a probe in the riots which claimed 53 lives and injured 583 others(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 24, 2020 06:59 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

A tale of the failure of the media, police forces

Rajput’s death should have triggered a conversation on mental health. Instead, it has been politicised

Sushant Singh Rajput’s death touched a chord in many people. Further, there was huge empathy for Rajput within Bollywood and outside, due to his film contracts allegedly being terminated(HTPhoto)
Updated on Aug 24, 2020 08:11 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Vikas Dubey symbolises the failure of the State | Opinion

His rise is a classic tale of a broken administrative system, flawed policing, and corrupt electoral politics.

Dubey’s rise through the ranks of crime hierarchy began as a grassroots worker in the 1990s when he was patronised by local politicians(ANI)
Updated on Jul 10, 2020 06:05 AM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

The RTI regime failed India during Covid-19

Responses have been elusive on critical issues, including health care infra, PM Cares fund, schemes, and migrants

The political class and information commissioners need to step up(HT)
Updated on Jun 05, 2020 09:53 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Protect India’s brave health workers

The ordinance is a good step. But supplement it with a set of strong law enforcement measures

A health worker uses an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of a woman during a door-to-door verification of people to find out if they have developed any coronavirus disease symptoms, Kolkata, April 21, 2020(REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 23, 2020 05:25 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Policing in the times of Covid-19

Train policemen to tackle medical emergencies; utilise RWAs; empower private security guards

Uttar Pradesh Police personnel screen vehicles for identity cards, Noida, April 06, 2020(Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times)
Updated on Apr 07, 2020 07:12 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad

Delhi riots: Six lessons for the State and police | Opinion

Nip communal violence in the bud; appoint better police chiefs; project State power; hold the guilty to account

Forensics and police personnel investigate at communal violence-hit Khajuri Khas, northeast Delhi, February 28(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 02, 2020 07:44 PM IST
ByYashovardhan Azad
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