The surge in Delhi’s crime graph, particularly the heinous incidents involving use of firearms, is mainly because of lack of proactive policing and hot pursuit of hardened criminals, former decorated Police Commissioners of the national capital say.
Ajai Raj Sharma and Neeraj Kumar, both regarded as top crime busters, underline the need for the Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) and Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) to monitor closely the law and order situation and ensure that the heat is maintained on the known criminals of their areas.
"I feel lack of basic policing in Delhi is the main reason behind the rise in incidents of violent crimes," Sharma said when asked for his comment on the prevailing situation in the city.
He disagreed with a view that the incidents of crime in Delhi have increased because professional criminals have taken refuge in the national capital due to the ‘encounter policy' of the Yogi Adityanath government of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
"I do not agree that due to the fear of being killed by UP police in encounter, the criminals of the neighbouring state have taken shelter in Delhi, and are now committing heinous crimes," he asserted.
Sharma, a retired IPS officer of 1996 batch from UP cadre, headed the Delhi Police from 1999 to 2002. He was brought to Delhi by the Vajpayee government at a time when the national capital was witnessing a spiral of crimes, including on moving buses.
"Senior officers should move out of their offices to find out how many criminals procured bail easily from the courts? Who was acting behind facilitating their bail? What efforts were made by the SHOs to cancel such bail (given to criminals)? We need to monitor these criminals in a 24x7 mode. The police has to constantly turn the heat on them," he said.
Kumar, an IPS officer of 1976 batch who was Delhi Police Commissioner from 2012 to 2013 and is known for his drive against organised crime including the D-company, agreed with Sharma's observation.
He said if the hardened criminals are easily getting bail, then it's obvious that police officers are not visiting the courts and monitoring important hearings.
"In how many cases, the Investigating Officer is seen opposing the bail of the criminals? The police, particularly the ACPs and DCPs have to be proactive in their role as supervisors to ensure the drive against criminals yields better results," he said.
Kumar, who unearthed the much-hyped IPL betting scandal, opined that whenever the police appears to be slow and slack, the criminal would always take advantage of the situation.
"Poor backroom work often leads to this slackness. If a supervisory officer (ACP or DCP) is good at planning, strategy and has in-depth knowledge of the crime profile of his area concerned, he or she will definitely succeed in putting a check on the crime," quipped Neeraj Kumar.
On the rising use of firearms in executing crimes in Delhi, including on busy streets, Sharma said it is a disturbing trend for the Delhiites.
"If in a number of cases, the weapons used in crimes are illicit, then at least the source of supplying such weapons should be identified. Often such country made weapons are made in small factories, run mostly in suburbs. These (factories) should be traced, raided and the gang members should be put behind the bars, said Sharma.
"Frisking of motorbike borne youth should be done randomly at key points to ensure that no one dares to carry illegal weapons in the streets of Delhi," he said.
Kumar added that when he comes across such crimes happening in the capital, he feels that fear of law is gradually diminishing.
"The prime indicator for this is the state of traffic rules being blatantly violated in Delhi these days. Today, I see more and more vehicles being driven on the wrong side of the roads. It makes it evident that there is little fear of the law. The only remedy is that officers have to put in extra effort for a better and tough policing," Kumar said.