Millennium Post

Delhi Police has lost its honour

The conduct of the Delhi Police in the past few months shows that the force which was reckoned globally till sometime back as one of the best urban police, has gradually lost on its abilities to stand-up to increasing crime in the national capital. The repeated assault on cops on duty show that the force despite its modernisation has lost on equitation. It has in the past few months shown that it’s been unable to measure up to the challenges posed by criminals, anti-social elements and also the subversive forces.

In the recent past, about half-a-dozen incidents have been reported where cops were attacked by the criminals when the policemen on duty tried to either stop or chase them on suspicion. And such incidents are no more happening on the capital’s outskirts.  On last Saturday evening, three criminals opened fire at two constables who were patrolling in Delhi’s heart, Connaught Place, leaving one cop injured.

In less than 48 hours of the Connaught Place incident another constable fell to the bullets of the criminals while doing his job in the outer district. What’s more worrying is that this incident took place just 500 metres from the police station with the criminals caring a damn about the possible presence of more cops in the garrison nearby.

What has however surprised one and all is the total indifference of the police brass towards its rank and file falling prey to the bullets of the criminals.

In fact I remember reading somewhere that on being asked what plans the Delhi Police had, to counter the threat to cops, a senior officer said that deputy commissioners of police and additional commissioners of police have been asked to make a chart of the places that are vulnerable in terms of anti-social activities. Accordingly these areas will be barricaded with heavy deployment of armed police force.

Well this is no solution. Did the officer mean that he proposed to put a guard on every cop on duty and barricade every road of the capital? This would end in Delhi police cops providing proximate security to one another and of course the VIPs and manning the prime minister’s route with the common citizens left at the mercy of the anti social elements. Another interesting comment from the brass was that ‘a separate team is needed to study behaviour of these criminals who do not have the fear of police and the fear of law.’

Delhi police brass should remember that the law and order is implemented by the ‘Izzat aur Iqbal’ (Honour and Glory) of the police force and not by studying the psychology of the criminals. That’s the job best left to psychologists than the cops undertaking the study.

The honour and glory of the force is instilled by the leadership qualities of its brass and not the drill of the foot soldiers. Unfortunately, the Delhi police under its present commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi has been identified more with the shenanigans to protect the high and mighty than provide effective policing in the city.

On the eve of Independence Day, when the city is supposed to be on maximum alert, two school buses, in a never before incident, became targets of road rage. And again the incidents did not take place on the outskirts but in the densely populated residential colonies. In the first case a Delhi Public School, Rohini, bus was forcibly stopped near Japanese Park by two men in an Alto car because the bus did not give them way. The men thrashed the driver with an iron rod and also hit a woman teacher.

And look at the lack of reaction from the force, half an hour after the Rohini incident another bus was attacked, this time in Dwarka. The police failed to act with alacrity expected from a force which mans the national capital.

While in the first incident the driver and a woman teacher was injured, in the second incident the driver and a child on board were hurt.

It’s not just about the crimes being committed on the roads. Even white collar crimes, economic crimes and cyber-crimes are taking place from within the precincts of the national capital but the police just refuses to come to the aid of the common citizens.

Even the phishing scams, which were thought to be executed from far off Nigeria, have actually come to have firm roots in the national capital. This has all happened because the cops have decided to look the other way, much to the misery of the citizens of the city.

The question should be asked what has come to grip Delhi Police, which has made it so enfeebled today that it is failing to defend its own men. The answer lies in the misplaced priorities of the top brass, which is busy burning midnight oil to do a cover up job in the unnatural death of socialite entrepreneur Sunanda Pushkar. The commissioner and his team have worked overtime to establish innocence of her husband and former union minister Shashi Tharoor.

Such conduct of the top brass sends a message down the line of the leadership being compromised. A compromised leadership in turn cannot inspire the force to rise to the challenge and nor hold them accountable for laxity, given their own attitude of sloppiness. Delhi Police needs a leader who in the public eye should be above suspicion, as expected from Caesar’s wife.

The author is with Centre for Reforms, Development & Justice, and is Consulting Editor, Millennium Post

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