Police on job, but keep
eyes and ears open
By Sahil Makkar
Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) As a crime reporter who keeps an eye
on the security establishment, I am asked after each terror
attack by friends and colleagues eager to know if the Indian
capital is secure and whether Delhi Police can prevent future
bombings and take on marauding terrorists.
answer is a sad 'no'. Unfortunately, even many in Delhi Police
share this opinion.
can't guarantee that we can prevent terror attacks,"
a senior officer told IANS, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
city of over 15 million people, Delhi has a police force of
just about 60,000. Minus those engaged in administrative work
and VIP security, the police strength drops drastically.
don't have the manpower to deploy police personnel at every
nook and corner of the city," another senior officer
told IANS, speaking on condition he was not named.
and after the Nov 26 terror attacks when 10 terrorists terrorised
Mumbai for over 60 hours, I was repeatedly asked if Delhi
Police can handle a similar situation.
reality, it would be unwise to ignore the looming threats
from the extremists who strike at will and make a mockery
of the ill-equipped and unprofessional police institutions
across the country.
Delhi Police, though by and large no different from its counterparts
in the states, does have an edge over the others. As it does
not come under the purview of the state government, it receives
its funds and other resources directly from the centre.
apart, its officers are more accountable for major crimes.
the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Delhi Police too
has a Special Cell - an expert wing to combat terrorism. It
has earned the reputation of cracking many terror modules.
But it has also been accused of falsely framing suspects.
Special Cell is equipped with modern arms and the best technical
assistance. Undoubtedly, its human and technical intelligence
gathering resources are far better than the other state police
the Delhi Police brass admit that they are not sure of foiling
terrorist attacks, even as they say the Special Cell is well-equipped
and has some of the best minds working for it.
Police has also the option of calling for quick assistance
from the National Security Guard (NSG) - whose commandos gunned
down the terrorists in Mumbai - as other central paramilitary
forces whose headquarters are based in the capital. The decision
makers are also in Delhi.
the Mumbai attacks, Delhi Police are raising an elite Quick
Reaction Team (QRT) comprising commandos armed with sophisticated
weapons. They would be posted across the capital.
problem of terrorism is very huge and we always try to do
our best to prevent terror attacks. In case of a hostage-like
situation, we firmly believe that we can react fast by quickly
mobilising our men and the best resources," another Delhi
Police officer said.
other complain that they feel handicapped due to inadequate
skilled manpower for collection of actionable intelligence.
the past decade, the capital's population has increased manifold
as so has the crime graph. But the number of policemen has
can lack of manpower and resources be an excuse for recurring
are Delhi Police officers who refuse to take the entire blame
for the failure to check terrorists.
citizens, they say, do not play the role they are expected
must react and report to us suspicious objects and individuals.
They can be our eyes and ears. Most cybercafe owners and landlords
never follow the advisories issued by us just to earn extra
bucks," one officer complained.
can only hope this blame game ends - and soon.
Makkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)