HYDERABAD: It was the failure of Delhi police and Central administration in pre-empting riots that resulted in death of over 37 people, feel several top retired police officials of Telangana State.
They observed that inactivity was glaring despite the headquarters of paramilitary forces being located in Delhi. Forces were not pressed into action for almost three days, showing callousness within the powers-that-be, they opined.
Stating intelligence agencies were not optimally used, former DGP of united Andhra Pradesh, Noel Swaranjit Sen said, “The incident could have been handled much better. I’m surprised at the inaction of police. It seems as though the police was asked to go slow. As it turns out, it is the central home minister who is to be blamed, as he has jurisdiction over Delhi police. How can we ignore this basic fact? Unfolding of events in northeast Delhi also leaves room for suspicion. These incidents do not occur all of a sudden. There are many tell-tale signs that intelligence agencies should have picked up,” Sen remarked.
Calling the incidents an incomplete jigsaw puzzle, he pointed out that there is now a general sense of insecurity.
“The departments and institutions concerned should have taken pre-emptive measures,” he maintained.
Another retired AP DGP M.V. Bhaskar Rao said no advance action was taken by Delhi police.
Police did not act when BJP leaders were making statements right in front of the police. This demonstrated that riots were premeditated to stoke communal sentiments, he pointed out.
Mr Bhaskar Rao asserted that police are entitled under the Police Act to take action on their own in such cases. “Why did they not impose curfew, which is meant to prevent damage? Curfew must have been imposed at the first signs of such trouble,” he said.
Citing COVID-19, the former DGP said: “You isolate patients and put them in quarantine for treatment. Curfew is like that.”
He also found fault with the subsequent shoot-at-sight orders and then a flag march by security forces. These would have a desired impact had a curfew been imposed first, he observed.
The former DGP said it is time to learn from the failure in Delhi. “Unlike in states, the Union government has responsibility in Delhi. It displayed ineptitude and recklessness,” he commented.
Mr Bhaskar Rao also dismissed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that not enough forces were available to stem the violence. “You drew forces for US President’s security. It does not take much for even Army personnel to be called in. Under any circumstances, you cannot say that there was a lack of forces,” the former top police officer added.