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Places of Engagement: The places in which the head constables were

engaged in their duties were found to be as follows:

Solving domestic violence: More than 40% of the time during their
duty was utilized in solving cases related to domestic violence in their
areas of jurisdiction. According to some head constables, areas where
the residential population was mostly situated were the ones which
were mostly prone to the domestic violence. It was a common duty for
an officer to go to different houses and solve some crisis related to
domestic violence such as a wife being beaten up by the drunk
husband or an addict father beating up his child. Sometimes, the
problems arose due to simple issues such as shortages of resources in
the locality and the demand for the same. For example, water.
Election duties: Many of the times, the officers were engaged in
election duties also such as maintaining decorum and law & order
during elections. A large chunk of the police force was engaged in the
areas where promotional activities of some or other political parties
were being conducted in order to ensure the smooth conduct of the
Flying squads: As a head constable, a policeman was many a times a
part of the flying squad whose job was to patrol the streets in a given
area and to see if there was any disturbance in the area and solve it. If
he was unable to solve the crisis by himself, he was supposed to call
the police control room asap in order to get the backup for the same.
The flying squads were called baaj or cheetah in different police
Paper work: Another area of engagement for a head constable was to
deal with the paperwork which was elementary for any action to be
taken by the police. For example, in order to react to an F.I.R , it had to
be filed first in the police station. This was taken care upon by the head
constable who was well equipped with the knowledge of doing so.
Previously, the same was done on paper and a register was maintained
for the same. Nowadays, we found that because of increase in
technology, there was a separate computer meant for filing of F.I.R in
every police station. Also, other data related to every activities was fed
in the computer by the head constable.
Accountability: A head constable was also accountable for most of
the activities done by his junior constable and so he was supposed to
monitor their work closely and ensure that they work according to the
requirements and needs. Also, a head constable was like an informal
teacher for his juniors as he had gone through the same process of
learning when he was a junior constable. Thus, this was also an
unofficial area of engagement for him.

Manning the station 24/7: one of the prime areas of engagement for
a head constable was that he had to man the station all the time in
order to make sure that every disturbance is taken care of. At every
point of time, at least one or other constable was available at the
police station to ensure the same.

Problems faced by them:

When this question was asked to the head constables, we got a similar reply
from almost all the head constables in almost all the stations we visited,
which was Arey bahut problems hai, par koi fayda nahi batane ka which
meant that they faced a number of problems but did not believe them to be
solvable because of the system prevailing in the country. When pressed upon
they highlighted some of the basic yet serious problems faced by them such

Less number of leaves: According to every head constable we

interviewed, they faced a common problem of being granted a very
less number of holidays owing to the strenuous amount of efforts they
normally put in their work. They worked for almost 10-12 hours a day
for 6 days a week and even on Sundays they were called upon due to
some or other emergencies or political issues in the city. They found
this lack of leaves and holidays were unsatisfactory and depressing.
The head constables also complained that owing to the work, they
were not able to give even 10% of the desired amount of time they
wanted to give to their family.
Less pay scale: a large number of head constables complained about
low salaries in the job of a policeman. According to them, in their job,
they laid down their lives for the people of their city in order to protect
them half the time, sacrificed a lot in terms of their family life and also
gave a lot to the society. In return, the amount of monetary benefits
they received were not at all satisfactory as compared to all the things
mentioned above. And this low salary was also a major reason that
some of them, though they didnt admit it, adopt to accepting bribes in
order to regulate the work that they are actually supposed to do for
their salary.
Less work force: Another complain we often heard from most of the
head constables was that the actual number of workforce in their
stations was much lesser than what was actually desired in order to
properly maintain law and order in their city. This put a lot of pressure
upon them in terms of working hours and duties to be done and the

low salary also added to their grief. Thus, a lot of them were not
satisfied with their jobs.
Comparatively inferior facilities: Many of the head constables were
aware of the facilities in terms of infrastructure that were available
with the police of other states or cities and were not satisfied with the
ones in their own stations. For example: One head constable
complained that the Maharashtra police has given two wheelers to
every policeman in their state in order to facilitate their movement
while our government does not even pay properly for the petrol that
we use in ur own vehicles.

The above were some of the many problems faced by the head constables
in the police stations. Many of them were not open about their problems
because of the fear of being confronted later on by their superiors which
is again a problem.

Duties of head constable:

Maintain law and order: The main duty of an head constable if to

ensure that the law and order in his area of jurisdiction is properly
maintained according to the norms of the society.
Investigation: Whenever a case comes to the police, the duty of
the head constable is to investigate into the matter and look for all
the details and facts that may be relevant for the case. Only then
some or other action can be taken.
Watch and Ward duties: These duties refer to the continuous
monitoring that is done by a head constable and the surveillance
undertaken by him in and out of the station.
Station house writers: Another of the duty of a head constable is
to act as a station house writer and to maintain the records of all
the activities that take place under his watch in the police station
and by the police.
Escort under trials: Another duty of a head constable is to act as
an escort for al the convicts during their trials and to ensure that
they reach the given destination such as the jail or the court
properly and no escape takes place on the way.
Member of flying squad and emergency squad: A head
constable is also a member of the flying squad of the police station
and is constantly on watch in the assigned areas for signs of
disturbance and reports to the headquarters in case of any