At least one crime is committed against senior citizens every month. So, the Delhi Police have finally chosen to plug a glaring loophole in their approach to secure then.
While keeping the elderly, who stay alone safe, will remain their ‘paramount priority’, the police have now launched another drive to help their more ‘fortunate’ colleagues — those who live with working families.
“Many such senior citizens end up being alone during the day for hours altogether as their children or spouse go to work,” said Rajan Bhagat, additional DCP and spokesperson, Delhi Police. “So our beat staff will now identify such elderly, register them and check up on them regularly.”
Of late, crimes against the elderly have only gone up. On August 8, a senior citizen couple was found murdered at their four-storey residence in east Delhi’s Shakarpur. The victim, RK Bararu, was a retired deputy director from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and his wife, Durga Devi, was a housewife.
Nearly two months later, on October 2, 62-year-old Madhu Mehra, a government school teacher whose two-year work extension at a government school was about to end, was found murdered in her Timarpur residence in north Delhi.
According to senior citizen bodies, more than 11 lakh men and women aged above 62 years live in the Capital. Only 14,540 of them, Delhi Police records show, are registered with them. At least 18 senior citizen murders have been registered in the records till October 15 and only 11 have been solved.
“Registered or not, senior citizens are easy targets for criminals. Half of them voluntarily don’t get themselves registered, fearing that their ‘home alone’ status will put them in harm’s way,” said JR Gupta, president, Senior Citizens’ Confederation of Delhi.
“Though the step seems positive for now, we’ll have to see how seriously the police follow the procedure,” he added.