What is the actual condition of crime in the slums of Chandigarh and its peripheral areas?
There are many incidents that take place in the slums that are not being reported to the police. People such as Zulfikar Khan had been operating and exploiting the innocent children in the slums for a long time before being exposed in 2015. And, reason is, cops do not enter slums fearlessly. A lot of things are going on despite the fact that everything is in the knowledge of police personnel.
Do you think that shifting the slum-dwellers to rehabilitation colonies will solve the increasing involvement of these people in crime?
Never… merely shifting people from slums to concrete colonies cannot solve the problem. We should understand the reasons behind slum dwellers’ increasing involvement in the crimes. They need employment, social security and resources.
What role can educational institutes and NGOs play in curbing crimes in these areas?
Institutes can play a significant role in curbing crime and making the atmosphere in slum areas more safe. I will emphasise on the vocational training institutes, which will make youths of slums self-dependent. But a check on these NGOs and educational institutes is also necessary.
Do you agree with the general belief that slum-dwellers are involved in a chunk of the crimes?
It is a false impression. There are particular crimes, especially petty offences, in which involvement of slum-dwellers is the highest. In multi-crore scams, property frauds and other people of well-off families were involved.
What steps do you suggest to improve the law and order situation in slum areas?
First, random and frequent transfers of police personnel, deputed in beat boxes, police posts and police stations of slum colonies. Second, availability of educational and vocational institutes in slum areas. Third, interaction among these people, bureaucrats, elected representatives in a routine manner.