Force exercised great restraint while tackling R-Day violence: Outgoing Delhi Police commissioner

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New Delhi, Jun 30 (PTI) Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava, who retired on Wednesday after 36 years of service, said the force displayed great restraint while handling the Republic Day violence in the national capital in which many policemen were injured.

The farewell ceremonial parade in the honour of Shrivastava was held at the New Police Lines, Kingsway Camp here in the morning, a day before his birthday.

Four police companies marched to honour Shrivastava.

Shrivastava, a 1985-batch AGMUT-cadre IPS officer, served as the 22nd commissioner of the Delhi Police.

Interacting with reporters, he said, 'The farmers are also ours. Since the beginning, we told the police personnel that we need to handle the situation with restraint. The personnel were being provoked and they even had to jump from a height of 15 feet at the Red Fort. They suffered injuries, but did not abandon the path of restrain.' On January 28, Shrivastava had written an open letter to the police personnel, appreciating the way they handled the violence during a farmers' tractor parade in Delhi on January 26, but asked them to remain alert for more challenging days ahead.

In the letter, he said the police had an option of using force but showed restraint and presence of mind, and successfully dealt with the situation.

Nearly 400 policemen were injured during the tractor parade of the farmers, who have been protesting against three farm laws of the Centre at Delhi's borders since November 2020.

Senior IPS officer Balaji Srivastava took additional charge as the commissioner of Delhi Police on Wednesday after Shrivastava's retirement.

Shrivastava became the police commissioner soon after the city faced riots. After taking charge, he had said his priority was to restore peace and ensure communal harmony in the national capital.

'I was made the commissioner in February 2020. I went to Seelampur first and stayed there for a couple of days. First we inspected the site and took some decisions that helped in controlling the riots,' he said.

The riots in the northeastern parts of Delhi claimed 53 lives and left over 400 people injured. The force also lost one of its own men -- Head Constable Ratan Lal (42) -- after he sustained injuries during stonepelting at Gokalpuri.

Asked about his journey as the commissioner, Shrivastava said, 'It was a pleasant journey and there were blessings of the god as whatever steps we took, we got suitable results. We had challenges, but after taking everyone together, we got success everywhere.' He also said the police force had a different challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic and its personnel went beyond the call of duty to help people.

'Those police personnel, who were working on our instructions, were also needed to be taken care of. On one hand, we were taking care of Delhi and filled the void, helped in delivering oxygen, food and medicines, but on the other, it was also very important to take care of the personnel. We helped migrants, pregnant women, old people and others who needed help during the pandemic,' Shrivastava said.

Asked about the challenges before the police due to the emergence of social media and an FIR filed against Twitter, he said, 'Nowadays, conversation on social media is increasing. As the use of social media is increasing, there would also be some mistakes and the police will need to register cases. The presence of the Delhi Police has also increased on social media.' The Delhi Police registered an FIR against Twitter for allegedly allowing access to child pornography on the microblogging platform following a complaint by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

Shrivastava on Tuesday presented 133 officers of the force with the Police Commissioner's Commendation Disc awards in a ceremony at the new police headquarters on Jai Singh Road here.

The Police Commissioner's Commendation Disc (gold, silver and bronze) awards are on the lines of the Central Armed Police Forces to boost the morale of the personnel. These awards are presented to those police personnel who have excelled in their work.

Earlier, Shrivastava had told PTI that to improve its investigating ability, cyber-crime experts were being hired and they would be working with the police force.

Economic offences are also increasing and forensic accounting experts are also being hired to enhance its investigation capabilities, he had said. PTI NIT RC

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