The heart of the national capital has become the seat of crime, that too against its police officers. After three constables were shot at by a gang of criminals in Delhi’s Connaught Place, of whom one was fatally injured, an assistant commissioner of police (ACP) sustained serious injuries after he was assaulted infull public view in South Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin area by a team of three miscreants.
The repeated assaults on cops on duty lay bare a general culture of brutality and violence that had hitherto targeted women, people from marginalised communities, religious minorities, dalits, among others. The rise of this brazen public attack on police officers betrays not only a growing culture of criminality mushrooming in the national capital, it also indicates the officials’ gross inability to contain anti-social elements, muggers, carjackers, petty thieves, robbers, drug-peddlers and lot many others. The recent attacks on Delhi Police also hints at a lost credibility that the Capital’s cops once had, commanding respect and authority among civilians and serving them with élan. Yet, nowadays, not only are the Capital’s safeguards unable to perform their duties well, ironically enough, they themselves are in need of rescue, or so it would seem.
It is obvious that constables and inspectors serving in Delhi Police make do with really archaic, colonial-era rifles, while the criminals and goons have the latest state-of-the-art guns such as Colt.32 or automatic rifles. Moreover, anti-social elements roam about in posh SUVs, while cops are driven in ramshackle vehicles. It is unfortunate that as the Indian chest swells in pride while it salivates over the merits and glamour of the armed forces, there’s also an equal and opposite disdain for law and order, and a corresponding derision towards those in charge of maintaining it in the city. While it is true that Delhi cops are mostly unfit, often overweight and ill-trained to combat nimble criminals, there is really no reason for them to become targets of Delhi’s escalating mob culture that finds spectacular pleasure in theatrical displays of violence. Whether it’s beating up people from other states or assaulting police officers, Delhi is fast becoming the seat of belligerence.
It is unfortunate that despite revving up its platoon, and launching cyber-savvy applications to keep up with the digital times, Delhi Police has lost the connect it once enjoyed with the locals. It seems our cops are more at ease serving VIPS and not keeping the city free of malcontents. Unless Delhi Police recovers the lost pride and starts taking its role seriously, it would be difficult to restore it to the old rank.