Use of force against anti-gang rape protesters could have been avoided, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna said on Sunday.
“My own view is that the use of water cannons and tear gas should have been avoided when there was just peaceful protest by young people. I thought that was not called for…. The police commissioner also expressed his regret,” Khanna said.
The comments by Khanna, to whom Delhi Police reports, came a month after the cops used water cannons and baton-charged protesters to quell demonstrations against the December 16 brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapist.
“It could have been avoided,” Khanna told reporters on the sidelines of a function organised by chief electoral officer to mark National Voter’s Day.
The Justice JS Verma Committee, which looked into laws to tackle sexual offences, had described the police action as one which “scarred the Indian democracy”.
Talking about the safety of women in the Capital, Khanna said there was a need to deploy more security personnel, especially outside women and co-educational institutions. Khanna also called for support from women groups.
“I have met students and representatives of some colleges and universities. They expressed the need for deploying security personnel outside colleges. Streetlights need to be improved in such areas. Support is needed from women activist groups also. Police and citizens need to cooperate. Staying away is not an option before the people,” Khanna said.