Bhubaneswar, Sept. 24 -- The Ankita Bhandari murder case has brought under focus the lacunae of the Patwari police system in Uttarakhand.

Questions like would Ankita Bhandari (19) have been alive today had Uttarakhand abolished the Patwari police system are doing the rounds.What is this Patwari police system?

British government had introduced the Patwari police system with a view to cutting down on expenses in 1861. Patwaris (revenue officers) are conferred with the powers and functions of police officers.

Uttarakhand is the only state in India where revenue collection officials are tasked with the job of policing, especially in the hill regions of the State.

Irony is that no governments have ever shown much interest in doing away wit...