They were all dressed-up with nowhere to go, at least for a couple of hours. As they sat at the Shanti Van lawns, Delhi Police’s reserve force of young officers, which was primarily composed of fresh recruits, indulged in some rest and relaxation. This, while waiting to plunge into the thick of the action at Rajghat right across the road.
For the innumerable vendors, ranging from bhelpuri-walas to ice cream men and even some clothes salesmen, these nearly 300 khaki-clad men and women of the reserve force were potential customers.
The police force seeking respite from the noon-day sun before duty called were a business opportunity for these vendors which they couldn’t let slip by.
“I slept early last night so I could prepare and be here in time. Business has been quite brisk, compared to other days. I have no complaints,” said Ramdeen Sahay, 45, a chaat vendor, even as he graciously accepted a R10-note from a female police constable.
According to police, at least 700 officers had been deployed at the venue for Anna Hazare’s eight-hour hunger-strike to protest their misadventure on Saturday night. As many as 80% of these officers, sources said, were young recruits fresh out of training college.