The brutal rape and violence on a 23-year old woman on the evening of December 16 revealed the lax standards of policing in Delhi.
Events thereafter indicate that the police force is incompetent, brutal, venal and untruthful. A magistrate questioning the rape victim was allegedly pressured by the cops to alter the line of queries according to police diktat.
When this was revealed, the questioning had to be done once more, despite the fact that the victim is critically unwell. Peaceful protests from Monday, December 17, by people anguished by the crime, did not elicit any sympathy from the establishment.
On Saturday, December 22, the police inexplicably allowed the protestors to march up Raisina Hill, which houses India’s most sensitive ministries and the president’s estate.
Equally inexplicably, the cops suddenly unleashed beatings, lathi charges, tear gas shells and water cannon bursts on what was a peaceful crowd. The violence was justified by saying that terrorists could have sneaked in with the protestors.
If so, why did the cops allow the assembly at the Hill? Later, police sealed all approaches to India Gate, restricted public transport and caused enormous problems for people just trying to make a living. The state of siege continues.
The police insisted that constable Subhash Tomar was killed by protestors and arrested eight alleged ‘perpetrators.’ Now that claim, too, is being demolished: two witnesses who saw him collapse, tried to revive him and took him to hospital say he had a cardiac arrest and was not injured by stone pelters.
Nor had he been kicked and stomped on, as the police claimed. Hospital officials also say there were no major injuries on Tomar. If this is true, then it is clear that the cops are trying to frame the eight people it has arrested.
At the centre of this web of brutality and deceit is Neeraj Kumar, the commissioner of Delhi Police. He must be sacked immediately.
After that, the management of Delhi Police must be handed over to the elected state government, as is the case in all other states. The effete and inept lieutenant governor Tejinder Khanna, who heads the police force on behalf of the central government, should also be given marching orders.