It has been a long journey without much benefit. I’ve been working 12 years with the Delhi Police, yet I’m still a sub-inspector. To get promotions, we need to cosy up to senior colleagues, politicians and other powerful people. At times, we even pay to get desired postings.
The government doesn’t pay us enough. I have a family of five. What I earn is too little to feed five mouths and educate two. To meet their needs, I’m left with no option but to accept bribes. With these bribes and the hafta we gather, I usually end up making around Rs 45,000 per month.
When a cop refuses bribes, he is subverted by the system. He might be transferred to tribal areas. From top to bottom, everyone eats from the same dirty plate. This city is full of influential people; money flows like water. To cover their crimes, they throw money or put political pressure on us.
A bribe of Rs 100 is just the beginning. Our demands increase with the level of crime. For petty offences like driving without a licence, usage of a cellphone while driving or underage driving, we charge small amounts like Rs 100.
Heavy motor vehicles are a major source of bribes. They are overloaded most of the time. Moreover, they often don’t have the required permits and unload raw materials in the wee hours.
Brothels, prostitutes and eunuchs, too, pay us commissions so that we don’t interfere in their routine. We know where these people work. We have a set commission for each and every group. All illegal massage parlours and escort service providers pay us to work smoothly.
People call us public servants, but these days even housemaids charge Rs 4,000. We serve the country and try to make it safe for people to live without fear. We have politicians who have undeclared property worth crores. But the government doesn’t have enough to pay us.
As told Antara Chatterjee