Need of the hour: two layer policing system

HT Correspondent

New Delhi, Dec. 30 -- In wake of the massive outburst following the brutal gangrape and death of a 23-year-old physiotherapist, an age-old issue has come to the fore. Can Delhi have a two-tier system of policing, one for the New Delhi Municipal Council area and the other for the rest of the city?

The answer is yes. There can always be two separate police units with an idea that the important district, the VIP area - purportedly the area under the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) - and all vital installations such as the Parliament and VIP security, can be looked after by this elite force. For rest of Delhi's routine law and order problems and of course the traffic issues can be relegated to another force.

Important cities the world over have separate police forces guarding the capital city area and that around it.

For instance, in Washington, the United States Capitol Police primarily provides security to the large complex of Congressional buildings while the Metropolitan Police Department's duty includes police services to the city and its inhabitants and to supplement various uniformed federal forces.

Similarly, in the United Kingdom, the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police Service are the two organisations.

Rakesh Mehta, former Delhi chief secretary, pointed out, there is a 'Delhi Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority' Bill pending at the home ministry level.

"All big cities in India have this system except the National capital Delhi. For day to day affairs, the chief minister should be the chairperson."

"The format in which this can work needs to be decided, and it is possible," Mehta said.

"In a capital city, police is a central subject, but there can always be a system wherein the state government has a say in the law and order issues," echoed Ajay Raj Sharma, former Delhi Police commissioner.

"If Washington and London can have it, then why can't Delhi? After all, we have a more complex situation and having two separate organisations will just make the matters easier. It can always be discussed and decided as to who will control which force," said a former police official, on condition of anonymity.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.