The ongoing war of words between the Delhi government and the police following the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus on December 16 has intensified further.
Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic), on Friday raised a question on Delhi traffic police's Facebook page if harsher punishment (on the part of Delhi transport department) would have prevented the gangrape.
While Delhi Police report to the Union home ministry, the transport department comes under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government. Garg has posted that the bus used in the crime had been challaned and impounded several times, and in his view, vehicles plying without permit and fitness certificate and picking up passengers unauthorisedly should not go back to the violators.
Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit refused to respond to Garg's post, saying she is not the transport minister. She, however, told reporters at the secretariat on Friday that "the police must be given training and new technologies" for better performance.
However, Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami pulled no punches. He told Hindustan Times, "Delhi police must enhance its credibility among people."
A senior government official, requesting anonymity, said, "They (Delhi Police) must set their house in order first. They blocked all roads to curb protests. Now they have made a mess of their colleague's death."
Goswami, however, admitted, "There is a shortage of staff in our enforcement wing. We're going for recruitment as the number of vehicles in the city has gone up manifold. Unlike the police, we cannot register cases, but we can seize errant buses."
Hindustan Times had on Friday reported that the private bus on which the dastardly crime was perpetrated had been caught for six traffic violations in two years.
"Chief minister has told the transport department to take stricter action, including the cancellation of permits, on receipt of complaints. My department will chalk out a plan to improve safety," the minister said.