Feeble policing, absence of awe cause a surge in crime 

Delhi has become a hub of illegal gambling, also of drug trade and prostitution, says Sidharth Mishra, Author and president, the Centre for Reforms, Development & Justice.
Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena (L) with CM Arvind Kejriwal (Photo| ANI)
Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena (L) with CM Arvind Kejriwal (Photo| ANI)

DELHI: The Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister of the National Capital are at loggerheads. But then that’s no news, they always are. This time around they are fighting on the issue of increasing crime rate in the national Capital.

A very successful Vinai Kumar Saxena may have done very well as the Lieutenant Governor on several fronts but law and order, much to the glee of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, is proving to be his Achilles ’ heel. Though Saxena has no direct role in the appointment of the Police Commissioner of Delhi as L-G he has to own responsibility for the failings of Delhi Police.

The Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army has this motto, ‘IzzatAur Iqbal’ which is respect and force. Any armed organisation works on the basis of the respect it commands. In matters of policy, you may add the word – “raub” which is awe.

If a police organisation is not held in awe (raub), if it doesn’t command the respect (izzat) of people and if doesn’t have the force (Iqbal) to enforce law and order, then there certainly is a problem. In this matter, Mr Kejriwal’s complaint cannot be dismissed with customary contempt. We all are aware of the goriness and the wantonness of the crime being committed regularly in the city with unbelievable audacity.

Could you believe that two sisters are gunned down saving the life of their brother in the heart of the city – Rama Krishna Puram? Still worse a youngster is stabbed outside the college gate in South Delhi. Such audacious incidents show that today Delhi Police is unfortunately neither enjoying the ‘raub’, nor ‘izzat’ and thus no ‘iqbal’.

What has created such a precarious situation? This largely has been on account of the dwarfing of the office of the Commissioner of Police. Delhi Police chiefs like VedMarwah, ArunBhagat, MB Kaushal, Nikhil Kumar, Ajay Raj Sharma, KK Paul, YS Dadwaland several more are part of Delhi Police legend. A Nikhil Kumar had the moral strength to defend his Crime Branch head Qamar Ahmed in the Connaught Place shootout calling it to be a bonafide case of mistaken identity.’

As the face of Delhi Police, Kumar came in for criticism and was replaced. But then in those times, Delhi Police had a face, its Commissioner. Today the office of the Commissioner of Delhi Police is faceless and sans any aura. In the absence of a face, the Chief Minister is locking horns with the L-G, whereas at the beginning of his tenure, he had verbal fisticuffs with then Commissioner, BhimSainBassi.

Today maintaining law and order in the national Capital is much easier a challenge to meet than those in the 1990s and 2000s. Those were the times when Delhi was on the terror target. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-backed Pakistan modules were super active. However, it was the Delhi Police, especially the much-feared Special Cell and Crime Branch, which showed great acumen to crack and bust these modules. Several organised criminal gangs were also liquidated. 

Today we are faced with lawlessness in the absence of effective policing. In the RK Puram double murder case, the cops were quick to point out that the victim’s brother was a gambler and it was a matter of dispute over money. This statement inadvertently shows that Delhi has become a hub of illegal gambling, also of drug trade and prostitution.

How these outlawed trades are flourishing in the city? Naturally somewhere somebody is greasing the palms of the cops to make them look the other way. When corruption finds a toehold, crime finds a foothold.

Sidharth Mishra
Author and president, Centre for Reforms, Development & Justice

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