Lutyens’ manned, rest unguarded
Capital Home To Both Safest, Most Dangerous Urban Areas Of Country
Josy Joseph TNN
New Delhi: Delhi Police is actually New Delhi’s police. The national capital’s police actually has two different yardsticks for law and order in the city. If you live within Ring Road, especially in Lutyens’ Delhi, you receive several times more attention than a person living beyond the exclusive zone.
The statistics are there for all to see. They add to the recent debate kicked up by the findings of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) of the home ministry about the undue police attention for VIPs at the cost of ordinary people. BPRD found that almost three cops were deployed per VIP as against just one cop for 761 ordinary Indians. The study showed that states and UTs had deployed 50,059 police personnel to protect 16,788 VIPs in 2010.
The VIP culture of police forces is best captured in Delhi, which is home to both the safest and some of the most dangerous urban areas of India. The safest part is Lutyens’ Delhi, where the national government is located and most politicians live. Some parts of the rest of Delhi are among the most crime-prone urban areas of India.
Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s home and office, best symbolizes the VVIP obsession of the police force. Delhi Police has deployed one joint commissioner, one DCP, three additional DCPs, 10 ACPs, 20 inspectors and another 1,000 men in Rashtrapati Bhavan. This is besides the 200 ITBP personnel deployed there, and President’s Bodyguard, an elite army unit.
This massive, top-heavy force is in contrast to a joint commissioner heading the entire Northern Range of the city, a 621.3 sqkm area of over 75 lakh residents. A DCP heads an entire district’s police force. The range saw 16,299 IPC cases in 2011. Just 54% of these IPC cases were solved. The statistics are better for heinous crimes — 80.7% murders, 91.7% kidnappings and 95.5% rapes solved.
A senior policeman said the contrast was reflective of the complex policing of national capitals around the world. “This is the seat of power, this is what defines India,” he said. “Please do not just compare crime. Police officers in New Delhi are heavily involved in VVIP movement,” he added.
Delhi has 11 police districts, and there are on an average 12 police stations per district. Anywhere between 120 and 150 personnel are posted in each police station.
The irony of the VIP culture is starker when it comes to the level of police stations. In the New Delhi area, serious crime is a rarity. Connaught Place police station saw no murder or rape in 2011. It had one robbery and 28 vehicle thefts. In fact, vehicle theft is the most frequent crime reported in the police stations of New Delhi.
Chanakyapuri police station, too, saw neither a murder or a rape, and just two attempts to murder and eight vehicle thefts. Barakhamba Road police station saw one murder and two rapes.
In contrast, police stations in the rest of Delhi witness several murders and rapes. For example, in Narela police station, there were 12 murders, three rapes, 13 attempts to murder, 17 robberies and 133 vehicle thefts. In Bawana, there were nine murders and five rapes. In Alipur, there were nine murders and five rapes.