Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday urged the Centre to take a series of measures to instill a sense of security among the Capital’s residents, including heightened patrolling, greater visibility of policemen and cutting VIP security to protect the “common man”.
Emerging from a meeting with Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde along with her Cabinet colleagues, Dikshit said, “We as a Cabinet have decided that a mechanism should be put in place so that people should feel secure no matter what time they go out.”
As thousands intensified protests over the gangrape of the 23-year-old woman that briefly turned violent, Dikshit called a meet of her Cabinet to discuss measures needed to secure the Capital and restore the confidence of its residents.
“We urged the home minister to now put out advisories for the Lieutenant-Governor and the Delhi Police to curb such incidents.” Sharply criticising the Delhi Police, perhaps for the first time since the incident a week ago, Dikshit said, “It is not enough to suspend a constable or a few policemen. Senior officers must be held accountable.”
The chief minister has, in the past, pleaded helplessness in matters of law and order because the Delhi Police were not under her jurisdiction. She is also understood to have made a demand for a say in policing.
She said the police department frequently complained of manpower constraint because of duties to protect VIPs and politicians.
"We collectively demand that if this is the case, then redeploy police so that ordinary citizens can be protected."
The chief minister said one of the measures suggested after a meeting of leading citizens, vice-chancellors and academicians was to set up a central control room for distressed woman linked to all police stations. "Our plea to the home minister was that we must do all this as quickly as possible," Dikshit said.
Suggesting that she would continue to hold discussions with multiple stakeholders to end lawlessness in the Capital, Dikshit said, "We demand speedy trials and I may meet the chief justice of Delhi high court when he returns to see what can be done to ensure justice."