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New book traces tumultuous 1980s and ’90s through the life of a police officer

Written by Amod K. Kanth and published by Bloomsbury India, 'Khaki in Dust Storm' is due to be released on 19 December on ThePrint's SoftCover.

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New Delhi: The 1980s and the early 1990s was a tumultuous period that witnessed several key political events and developments — the assassinations of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the country’s first-ever mass explosions, financial frauds and many more.

‘Khaki in Dust Storm’, a memoir by former IPS officer Amod K. Kanth, offers a look at this troubling period through his immersive investigations into several of these important events.

In his book, Kanth, who served as the Director-General of Police in Arunachal Pradesh, uses facts, stories and anecdotes that have hitherto remained outside the public discourse.

The book, published by Bloomsbury India, is due to be released on 19 December on ‘SoftCover’, ThePrint’s e-venue to launch select non-fiction books.

“This period of 1980s not only witnessed the worst phase of terrorism in Punjab and Delhi, it also simultaneously plagued the society with drugs pandemic and I had the opportunity to deal with this most lethal organised crime, Delhi becoming one of the focal points,” says Kanth.

In his memoir, Kanth strings together details, behind-the-scenes manoeuvres and constructs the psyche of the perpetrators and the atmosphere at the time.

He notes, “When you have a ringside view of history in the making — and your uniform assigns you a major role in the events as they unfold — then it becomes your duty to record it.”

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Themes in book

In his memoir, Kanth also touches upon his ideas on policing, the socio-political impact of crime and terrorism and the nexus between lawmakers, law enforcers and people who take the law into their own hands.

He explains, “Through these Police Memoirs I have also attempted to explain how neither the profession nor life can be compartmentalised and there has to be harmony and continuity between the two.”

Kanth was a police officer for over three decades, after which he was the chairperson of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) and Domestic Workers Sector Skill Council. He is presently the joint coordinator of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Standing Committee at NITI Aayog and the general secretary of the Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre Society.

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