Delhi Police officers are in harm's way and the more the dedicated they be, the more brutal, petty vendetta-driven criminals ensure, is their end.
The characteristic restlessness, unbridled aggression and the good old mob mentality inherent in the average Delhiite made them violently punish men in uniform for doing their job almost every week in January this year.
But the most gruesome of the vitriolic lot, thus far this year, was the brutal murder of head constable Kailash Chander, who was stabbed as many as 27 times all over his body by a gang of four petty criminals, before his body was discovered in a pool of blood at a park in Dwarka's Sector 1.
"He was on night duty and patrolling the area which is prone to petty crime. In fact, he had been tipped-off by a local watchman who had seen three men on a bike headed towards the local Mother Dairy outlet. He decided to check for himself and chanced upon four men sitting in the park," said a senior police officer investigating the incident.
As soon as the headlight of his motorcycle fell on the gang, Chander recognised one of them. He had seen him before, albeit in a picture stuck on a police station's wall, realised he was wanted in a case of petty crime and moved-in to bring him closer to justice.
However, even as he had grabbed the petty criminal, identified as Sanju Nepali, by the scruff of his neck and was pulling him towards the gate of the public park, Nepali's associates who had murder on their mind, pounced on him.
"They assaulted him with whatever they could get their hands on including the small weapons that they were carrying to perpetrate small, late-night incidents, and assaulted him to death within minutes. They left him in a pool of blood but were mindful enough of leaving behind his phone and his ATM card," the officer said.
In incidents ranging from deliberate acts of aggression on city streets to even abduction bids in which police officers were victimised, at least four officers were killed, as many as 20 injured, five police vehicles torched and 50 cases of rioting registered in the year 2010.