Terror a persistent threat, doing best to counter it
Four months after he took over, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, in a conversation with Hindustan Times, spoke of his experience, priorities and the road ahead:delhi Updated: Oct 24, 2012 00:22 IST
Four months after he took over, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, in a conversation with Hindustan Times, spoke of his experience, priorities and the road ahead:
You have been associated with counter-terror operations for long. Has the face of terror changed?
Every counter-terror operation is intelligence-based and this is something that hasn’t changed nor ever will. The only difference between then and now is that earlier such operations were based on human intelligence; now they are more or less technology-driven. Though we’ve always been driven to pre-empt such bids, terrorism is a persistent threat which we will counter by any means necessary.
Fasih Mahmood was deported and arrested yesterday. Has he spilled the beans on the Indian Mujahideen’s (IM) global operations yet?
I would like to reserve my comments on the recent arrest.
What is your defence of the low rate of conviction of alleged terror suspects nabbed by Delhi Police?
We have already provided the data that most of the arrests in terror cases have led to convictions. However, various factors are at play when we come to such cases ending up in convictions. If terror suspects are let off, it is not necessarily a comment on the quality of investigation. Each case is subject to judicial scrutiny and interpretation, whether it leads to a conviction or not.
What about the other side of the spectrum — street crime, which affects the common man?
Terrorism apart, our focus is on street crime as well. The strategy is both prevention and detection. We are trying to find more imaginative uses of picket and policing. Building a database of criminals is very important and recently we have prepared a detailed report on Mewati criminals. We have also started the concept of joint picketing, in which, the staff of PCR vans, local police and traffic police conduct surprise checks. There is no point of having limited number of police personnel at pickets as a group of criminals can easily overpower the cops.
Senior citizens, it seems, are being targeted more violently and quite frequently. At least three sensational murders have been reported in the last two months alone.
We have taken several initiatives when it comes to the safety of senior citizens. From issuing identity cards to arranging registration camps for them, we have done everything. A majority of senior citizens live with their family members, so not every elderly person is vulnerable. We target those who are living alone and try to get them registered with the senior citizen cell. Recently, we have also started adding senior citizens whose family members are out during the day. In public meetings as well, we encourage senior citizens to inform our staff about their problems.
Hawala continues to be Delhi Police’s bane — whether it be to finance terror activities or daily movement of large amounts of such funds on Delhi streets.
Hawala has been in existence for long. It is the most trusted and effective system to transfer black money across the world. Several terror outfits are using Hawala networks for funding terror attacks. We have cracked several Hawala networks and the latest among them was reported in east Delhi where funds over R3 crore were involved.
Inter-state gangs and criminals seem to take the Capital hostage with reckless abandon frequently.
Checking on border points continues to be our prime focus as majority of the crimes in Delhi are committed by criminals from outside the city. Though it is tough to keep an eye on every border point, we have intensified picket checking and police patrolling on motorcycles, especially during the night, to stop infiltration of these criminals. A special drive to nab members of Mewati gangs, who were recently found to have been involved in several big crimes, has also been launched. CCTV cameras have been installed at several border points and we are in the process of installing more cameras at all the main borders.