Delhi Police take up cudgels to improve plight of slum dwellers

The Delhi Police have resurrected its belief in the panchayati raj system and want to dig deeper into an area, where no other civic agency wants to go — the Capital’s unauthorised colonies. Jatin Anand reports.
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Updated on Jan 26, 2011 11:37 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByJatin Anand, New Delhi

The Delhi Police have resurrected its belief in the panchayati raj system and want to dig deeper into an area, where no other civic agency wants to go — the Capital’s unauthorised colonies.

Taking a cue from their counterparts in Mumbai and finally putting policing VIP areas a bit lower on their priority list, the Delhi Police have decided to hold weekly police-public meetings in areas such as Gokulpuri and Bhajanpura in the northeast and other areas, including Shabad Dairy and Sultanpuri in outer Delhi among others.

“The idea is not only to strengthen the public-police interface but also to instill a sense of confidence in the residents of these areas. They may live in unauthorised colonies but are citizens of the city nonetheless,” Police Commissioner BK Gupta told the Hindustan Times.

The commissioner said that such interactions would help the Delhi Police strengthen their intelligence network, detect corruption and also help check crime.

“These meetings will be held once a week and officers from the local police station will visit the residents at a designated spot. The relationship so forged will ensure that complaints are dealt with immediately and effectively. The residents will feel empowered to complain about officers they see colluding with the builder mafia and intelligence inputs will flow seamlessly,” the commissioner said.

More than 65% of Delhi’s population lives in unplanned colonies, as per the Delhi Human Development Report 2006. Police believe that the proximate location of colonies of the haves and have-nots is a critical crimogenic factor. “If we look at areas such as Rohini or Dwarka, these come across as islands of prosperity surrounded by areas where most novice criminals have been found to reside. The only way to rein them in is to make them realise that crime doesn’t pay,” said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity.

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