Delhi Police commissioner Bhim Sen Bassi rejected allegations that his force was working at the instance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the Union government. In the backdrop of a bitter turf war between the Delhi Police and the AAP government in Delhi, Bassi said bringing the police under state government’s control would create vested interest.
Talking to Hindustan Times, he clarified that his force was not biased against anybody. Excerpts:
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been vociferous in his demand to bring Delhi Police under the control of the state government. Do you think the demand is justified?
The present system is perfect. If we propose to tinker with it, it will not only be unjustified but also hamper work. Just because the central government supervises the force, there is no local vested interest. Bringing Delhi Police under the state government will definitely create vested interest. I am saying this from my experience of having served in various states. There will be local interference, if the city police is brought under the state government. The city is lucky to have a police that is unbiased and autonomous. The CM is a learned man. However, he does not understand the police system.
But the CM is not happy with the present arrangement?
We are always open to suggestions. If the chief minister has some suggestions that will benefit the police, they are welcome. He can write to me about it and we will try to incorporate them. But you need to tell me what changes you need and why.
The AAP is alleging that your force is biased towards them, referring to the arrest of the former law minister and a party MLA.
Let me put this on record that the decision to arrest the former law minister (JS Tomar) was made solely by the police. No government official had dictated or told us to work on a particular line of investigation. There was no instruction from anywhere. The arrests were made after a concrete probe and collection of evidence that was also appreciated by the court. We are not biased towards AAP. Please tell them to get rid of this notion. Having said that, I would like to add that I am open to criticism. Sometimes their criticism helps us improve and serve the people better.
Another allegation is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union government interferes with the functioning of the force.
This is totally incorrect. It’s a false notion. I have worked with two governments and there was no interference even by the earlier (UPA) regime. No minister or officer has called me and interfered in my investigation. We follow norms and laws and are not susceptible to political interference.
The stabbing of a woman in Anand Parbat has led to a lot of bad blood between the AAP and the Delhi Police. What went wrong?
I can only say that it is political posturing on their part. The government has a lot of work to do and they should concentrate on it. And so should we. We should not waste time.
I was the first person to appreciate their budget. I appreciate the good work they do. Recently, I read about the mohalla clinics they have started which is an excellent initiative. I will request them to run them 24X7. Also, I will request them to concentrate on the condition of the schools in Delhi. They should work to make them on par with private schools. I have studied in a government school and know the difficulties students face there. The government should work to improve the facilities and infrastructure there. There are less ambulances in the city. The PCR vans double as ambulance in most cases. The government can improve the situation. My request to them is not to waste time on Delhi Police.
The CM recently referred to the police as ‘thulla’. Your thoughts.
I could not believe that he used that word. I have nothing to say except that as policemen we must not let that affect our work. I have also told my officers to concentrate on their work and leave such problems to me.
AAP leader Dilip Pandey accused a cop of trying to run him over. It was also alleged that party protesters were beaten mercilessly.
In my 38 years of service, I have never come across such a complaint. Police drivers wait in their vehicles, while other personnel work on the spot. Why would anyone try to do that? We have registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the cop concerned and a separate one on the complaint by the constable that AAP members thrashed him.