At the launch of ‘Bicycle Patrols’ — a Delhi Police initiative to distribute 70 bicycles to beat constables — Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said police must focus on two areas: sloganeering by university students, and the sale of drugs by foreign nationals. At the event, held at Yamuna Sports Complex on Tuesday morning, the MoS said, “College mein students ko behkaya jaa raha hai, anti-India slogans bole jaa rahe hain (Students are being misled in colleges, anti-India slogans are being chanted).” He added, “Foreigners yahan aake drugs ka business karte hain, (drugs) bachchon ko bechte hain, jinhe galat sanskaar diye jaa rahe hai (Foreigners sell drugs here, sell drugs to children, who are picking up a wrong set of values). Police have a role to play in curbing this.”
“A database of foreigners should exist; police need to work on that. We have seen how Punjab got ruined, that shouldn’t happen to Delhi,” he said. Also present at the event was Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari who, along with Ahir, flagged off the bicycle patrols, with beat constables riding new black-and-orange Firefox cycles at the sports complex. “There are certain areas where PCR vans, or even bikes, can’t always be stationed. It’s difficult in congested lanes, so we are launching bicycle patrols. We are beginning with trans-Yamuna area but will extend it to other parts with time. Residents will see a friendly profile of the police,” said Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik.
Patnaik added that it is also an environment-friendly move, as “there will be no noise pollution, and it will also keep police officials fit and healthy”. Reiterating this point, Tiwari credited PM Modi for the move. He said, “In a meeting, Modi ji expressed how policemen should walk across lanes in the city, and Patnaik told me how the idea of bicycle patrols came from that.” For now, 70 sleek bicyles, with black pouches, a water bottle carrier and a basket form the fleet.