Amod K Kanth is a retired IPS officer who served as the director general of police in Arunachal Pradesh and Goa before leading the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. He's also the founder of Prayas JAC Society, which works in the field of juvenile justice.
In this interview with Abhinandan Sekhri, Kanth talks about his new book, Khaki in Dust Storm: Communal Colours and Political Assassinations, his diverse experiences as a police officer and social activist, and his ideas for police reform.
Recalling the tumultuous times in which he served as a police officer, including the 1984 anti-Sikh carnage, he says, “While I was going through it, the experience transformed my life in and out. It also transformed the way I looked at police and society.”
He also fields questions about the Indian criminal justice system and whether it's equipped to reform people, particularly juveniles. "The Juvenile Justice Act talks about the rehabilitation and social reintegration of a child who has committed a crime as the most important area. The Indian police have not learnt to deal with juveniles yet. The problem of juvenile offenders is becoming a serious problem but it cannot be sorted by dealing with children like adults," he says.
Talking about the lack of comprehensive police and judicial reforms despite the Supreme Court's directions, Kanth says, “Reforms are a bad deal for the rich and powerful, for the strong people, because they are gaining out of the system."
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