Terrorists may get a breather, thanks to the Delhi Police’s new-found passion for red tape. Investigating officers, particularly sub-inspectors and inspectors, have been asked by the Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar Verma to seek prior approval before flying off to catch terrorists and criminals.
His bureaucratic approach has brought the morale of investigating officers down and will also hit the Delhi Police’s anti-terrorist operations. Cops are saying that it will hamper the investigation since the crucial time will be lost in seeking approval for travel.
Special Commissioner of Police AK Singh has issued a circular stating that officials will have to seek a written approval for flying outside Delhi to catch criminals.
“It has been observed that non-entitled police officers frequently travel by air without obtaining competent authority's prior permission. And subsequently, their cases are referred to Police Headquarters for obtaining ex-post-facto permission from the head,” the circular stated.
Singh further warned that such kind of activities will not be accepted at any cost. He issued a diktat: “Henceforth, no case for ex-post-facto permission or sanction for performance of extra-jurisdictional air journey will be entertained in Police Headquarters.”
He also said in emergency cases, prior approval and permission for air journey may be obtained from the Special Commissioner of Police concerned and thereafter same may be sent to the Police Headquarters.
The move has irked many police officers deployed in the special cell and crime branch. Police have issued more than 1,000 look-out notices for absconding terrorists and criminals. Earlier, whenever they got a tip-off, they used to inform their superiors—assistant commissioner of police or deputy commissioner of police—and rush to the airport to nab the criminal.
But, after Verma’s order, the investigating officers will have to first seek written approval from his immediate senior-assistant commissioner of police, thereafter from deputy commissioner of police, then joint commissioner of police and then from the Special Commissioner of Police.
“We will have to make a file to get prior approval. If we will be lucky enough, it will take 24 hours to get the approval, else 48 hours,” said a police officer requesting anonymity.
Several investigating officers stated that they take flight for ‘official work and not for personal purpose’.