In the past decade, the raging anger of Delhiites has become one of the focus areas of the city’s police force. To deal with anger issues, the department has been encouraging those held for ‘pointless crimes’ to visit psychiatrists or counsellors to talk out their problems.
Late Wednesday night, a 42-year-old dentist, in west Delhi’s Vikaspuri was beaten to death in a case of rage.
In 2011, when incidents of people killing over non-issues such as, not giving a screwdriver or not selling curd, saw a spike, the police decided to refer offenders to anger management sessions.
In every such case after a thorough analysis of the offender’s records, the police recommend their case to the courts for compulsory anger management sessions at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
“The incidents of crimes in a fit of rage are a fairly new phenomenon, and are often the result of growing dissatisfaction with your standard of living. In a lot of colonies people are fighting to maintain basic standard of living. With such deplorable living conditions, it becomes difficult to keep your sanity intact. The smallest of trigger instigates such crimes,” said Depender Pathak, joint commissioner of police (southwest district).
Pathak said that Delhi being a confluence of various cultures also offers reasons for misunderstandings.
“There have been cases where people have started fights because they were addressed as ‘tum’ instead of ‘aap’. In some cities of Uttar Pradesh, there is no concept of ‘aap’. ‘Tum’ is how they address even their elders,” he said.
A survey conducted in 2014 by Santhan, an NGO working for the mental health of people, showed that over 60% of Delhiites have anger management issues. In many cases this remains bottled up, until a small instigation sparks violence.
Even Delhi Police officials are not spared by this rage.
In 2014, a 24-year-old traffic constable, Manna Ram, was killed by a driver after he was stopped and asked to take a detour. After a heated argument with Ram, the driver hit him with his car and dragged him till he was mowed.
A similar incident made headlines last year, after a traffic policeman got into a physical fight with a woman who allegedly refused to pay the traffic fine.
“We constantly advice our officials to not engage with people who enter into an argument. If the situation gets out of hand, we have ordered them to call for their team or the PCR,” said Muktesh Chander, special commissioner of police (traffic).
He said that the department has recently started conducting mandatory workshops at the traffic headquarters in Todapur where they are given tips such as, keep the pictures of their loved ones on the dashboard while driving, call the police in case an argument gets violent, and avoid eye contact with the person starting a fight.