Delhi Police Should Not Have Waited For Political Bosses’ Orders
The nation requires a police force that is impervious to frivolous and illegitimate political intervention.
Could Delhi Police have done more to stop Delhi from burning for three days while US President Donald Trump was visiting India? Yes, certainly. The Supreme Court thinks so, too. It is not for the Supreme Court to intervene.
Delhi Police did not act in a professional manner. At the same time, I would say that the loose and the lumpen elements in politics were also acting in an irresponsible manner.
Be it Kapil Mishra, Amanatullah Khan, or anyone else, whatever they said should have been legally examined and if they had transgressed the rule of law, they should have been brought to the book without the considerations of fear or favour.
The police have to be unsparing in the application of the rule of law. Why they waited, for whom they waited, why they did not intervene effectively is a loud question. Indian judiciary has also raised the question: what would have happened if such violence had erupted in the UK or the US? Nobody would have waited for orders. The police are designed to function on auto-pilot mode and no instructions are required from anywhere in the moments of crisis. The buck stops at the table of the police commissioner.
The bible of the Indian police is the Internal Security Scheme and it is mandatory that it is rehearsed once every month. And if there is a failure or a lacuna, the drill needs to be re-rehearsed till the time it is fixed and perfection is achieved. And it is meant to be upgraded on the basis of what illegal weapons and illegal movements of bad characters come to light.
Obviously, this was an area of darkness and never addressed and the consequences were horrifying. Security for affected citizens was just not there.
Is it still not the time to usher in the police reforms which have been enshrined in our Constitution? The nation requires a police force that is impervious to frivolous and illegitimate political intervention. They should not be looking at the political bosses for instructions.
(Dr Vikram Singh is an Indian educationist and retired Indian Police Service officer. He joined the IPS in 1974, and held the post of Director General of Police in the state of Uttar Pradesh during the period June 2007- September 2009. He tweets at @VikramSingh112. This is an opinion piece, and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for them.)
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