The Delhi Police, on Friday, insisted it had taken another step towards making the city safer for women from the northeast by asking its fleet of emergency vehicles to act as cabs.
Senior police officials associated with the initiative said, the force had reiterated orders that women - especially those from northeast be dropped to the nearest bus stop or metro station as and when they felt stranded anywhere in the capital by PCR vans.
“We had kicked-off this initiative after the December 16 gang rape and have now enforced it with more vigour,” said a senior police officer.
The step combines two major initiatives that must work in tandem at certain parts of the capital where persons from northeast prefer staying the most - northern and southern Delhi.
“We had already increased deployment of personnel in these areas where most PGs or Delhi University (DU) colleges are located,” said the officer.
“Then we realised that while the deployment in these areas had increased, personnel were mostly performing routine patrolling and had run out of ideas or patrolling patterns. That’s when we decided to give them this added responsibility,” the officer added.
However, while the initiative had been launched with much enthusiasm, the cultural barrier that exists between the police and especially students from the northeast is stealing its thunder.
“Students don’t seem to feel comfortable even approaching us when it comes to complaints about crime,” admitted a police officer.
Many students whom HT spoke to said the language barrier was their biggest concern. “The initiative is appreciated but what the police don’t understand is that they must remove the mistrust that we feel towards them first.
I wouldn’t call a PCR to drop me anywhere until I was really stuck in the middle of nowhere and simply had no option,” said Linthoi Thongam, a DU student who hails from Manipur.