Situated in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi — one of the most secured places in the city in terms of police deployment, India Gate has emerged as one of the most unsafe places for children. Three kids go missing from near the monument every day.
India Gate lawns and Rajpath are the most visited sites in the city. On weekends and holidays, these spots see a footfall of over 10,000 people in a day.
Police said they were working on a new security plan for the VIP zone, clarifying that most of children who go missing are either rescued or return on their own.
In the wake of the alleged kidnapping of three-year-old Jhanvi from India Gate, the police have decided to launch a verification drive for hawkers operating around India Gate and Rajpath. The force has vowed to make India Gate a crime-free tourist spot.
The police will issue identity cards to registered hawkers who will be allowed to run their business from permitted spots around India Gate and Rajpath. Sources said the step had been taken on the Union home ministry’s instructions.
“The identity cards will be issued only to registered hawkers. Before issuing cards, we will verify the background of the hawkers. Anybody not carrying an ID card will not be allowed to sell anything,” said a senior police officer.
The officer said it would help them prepare a database of hawkers operating around India Gate. The registered hawkers will also be used as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police.“If any child goes missing or is kidnapped from the vicinity of India Gate, these hawkers can provide us important leads. We will organise a meeting with registered hawkers and ask them to join our campaign to make India Gate and an eye on suspicious people,” the officer added.
Apart from issuing identity cards to hawkers, the police have planned to increase the number of CCTV cameras installed near India Gate. Currently, there are only 40 CCTVs installed there. But most of them provide very poor feed in terms of picture quality. Hazy pics make it difficult for the police to identify people.
“We will install as many as 300 CCTV cameras around India Gate and Rajpath. As many as 150 CCTVs will be installed in the first phase. The remaining cameras will be installed in the second and third phase. A control room to monitor CCTV footage will be set up,” the officer said.