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Misra Commission Report


CHAPTER - 18

VOLUNTARY SOCIAL AGENCIES


In the rural areas as also small towns local residents organise effective units for maintaining the peace in the area. When there is a problem of law and order, these units on their own, display their strength and play a powerful role in maintaining normalcy so that nothing happens or in case there is some disturbance, in restoring peace. Very often, the local police seek their assistance and utilise their services. Being people of the locality they know the exact sensitive area, issue and persons causing the trouble which disturbs the peace.

The Commission found that during the riots at Delhi, in some of the residential colonies, the local residents had formed similar combines and these succeeded in resisting successive riotous groups from entering into the areas. Often the riotous crowds were greater in number but seeing the local combine they feared to risk a confrontation to be followed, if it became necessary, by a skirmish. In the areas where such local combines had been voluntarily formed, no police or Army assistance was necessary and evidence shows that no incident of any type took place. After the riots, the Delhi Police on experimental basis picked up some members of the public on whom powers of the police were conferred and they were required to assist the police. It is said that the experiment has been successful. The local administration should encourage local combines of the type formed during the riots to come up in every convenient area. It should be a combine of able-bodied people drawn from residents of every community inhabiting the area and have some respected people of general acceptance in it. The Administration should recognise such a combine on local basis, encourage the same and if necessary, nourish it casually. This local organisation should be totally free from politics and maintain harmony and friendly relations with similar local organisations around. Apart from operating as a powerful defensive force at the time of disturbance of the peace, this local organisation can be utilised for various beneficial purposes. The Commission commends to Government that sincere efforts may be made to form such local organisations on experimental basis without loss of time.

City life, exclusive life-style and outlook based upon individualization are factors which are likely to obstruct easy formation of such combines everywhere but if proper motivation is given and due attention is bestowed, such voluntary combines shall soon come into existence and provide a convenient base for community participation in maintenance of social tranquillity.

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