Blot on its record

Delhi Police needs to urgently recover its professionalism. Centre needs to recognise dangers of its politicisation.

By: Editorial | Updated: November 4, 2016 2:13 pm
orop suicide, army man suicide, rahul gandhi arrest, arvind kejriwal arrest, delhi police, delhi police kejriwal arrest, Ram Kishan Grewal, india news New Delhi: Police men standing around Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Lady Harding Hospital after he was stopped at the hospital to meet the family of Subedar Grewal who allegedly committed suicide over OROP, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Source: PTI Photo)

Delhi Police must be held accountable for the unseemly spectacle on the streets of the national capital on Wednesday following the suicide of a retired jawan, Ram Kishan Grewal. In a brazenly heavyhanded way, police prevented administrators and politicians, among them Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Labour Minister Gopal Rai and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, from meeting relatives of the deceased soldier at the hospital and detained them in various city thanas later.

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It is outrageous that a state chief minister who calls on a family to offer condolences should be detained for over five hours and that two of his ministerial colleagues should be bundled into a police bus and hauled to a thana. Since Delhi Police reports to the Union home ministry, the Centre must explain the conduct of the police personnel. Did the officer who led the action consult his superiors before ordering the arbitrary detention of the chief minister? Was Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor kept in the loop when action was ordered against ministers and MLAs?

By all accounts, the police misconduct and overreach on Wednesday is a fallout of the force having been cast in the role of an adversary of the elected government in Delhi. The actions of Delhi Police in the past one year have raised disturbing questions about its conduct and professionalism. They have invited accusations that the force has become a tool in the hands of its political masters — in the Centre — to harass political rivals. The several cases filed against Aam Aadmi Party politicians, many on flimsy grounds, and the numerous arrests — a dozen AAP MLAs have been arrested at least once by Delhi Police — have created the perception that the force is executing a partisan political agenda. Such politicisation of a police force can have disastrous systemic consequences. The onus is on the political leadership — specifically, the Union home ministry — to urgently initiate a course correction. The credibility of the force, the people’s trust and faith in it, is at stake.

If the Delhi Police acted, as it claims, to contain the political fallout of the suicide — Grewal, who served in the army for three decades, and had become the first Dalit surpanch of his village in Haryana, allegedly consumed poison to protest delay in the implementation of the OROP (One Rank-One Pension) policy — it has spectacularly failed. Grewal’s cremation in his village on Thursday was a full-fledged political event with many opposition leaders in attendance. What should have been a sobering moment was reduced to an opportunity for parties to score points against each other. For that, the Centre must take a large part of the blame.

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  1. P
    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:07 am
    Rahul is a MP since 2004,,,what he is doing since specially between 2004 nd 2014????? ,,,,Now doing politics,,,Ya I admit Modi didn\'t implemented OROP demands ,,but atleast he has implemented 50% ,,,even my father used to got 15000 pension in 2013,,,,today he gets 21000,,,,atleast Modi took an initiative,,,
    1. L
      Lakshmi Chatti
      Nov 4, 2016 at 5:26 am
      Very partisan point of view. The behaviour of the kin of the deceased is quite surprising.His calling of the leaders of the Congress party to the hospital itself created doubts in the minds of the people.On the face of it the behaviour of the leaders of two parties can not be appreciated- this is nothing but a display of dirty politics.
      1. V
        viveksheel chhibber
        Nov 4, 2016 at 11:02 am
        1. D
          Nov 4, 2016 at 4:39 am
          After all the delhi cheif minister us no aam admi..he should have been mented out vip treatment by the dp.
          1. G
            Nov 4, 2016 at 5:22 am
            Delhi police is the worst in the world corrupted,coward and hinduistic fanatic,and this is the capital police, they should be the one who should make an example to others.
            1. N
              Nov 5, 2016 at 10:40 am
              Certainly it looked extremely foolish of the Delhi Police to arrest high profile chaps like Kejriwal and Rahul. If they had been allowed to go and visit the relatives without any crowds accompanying them, the w thing would have gone unnoticed. As things stand the Police and Home MInistry have given Rahul and Kejriwal a big image of standing up for the Army - something they probably don't deserve.The MOH has pla a big role in this and bered badly.
              1. R
                Nov 4, 2016 at 9:33 am
                It is a sinister design by congress to divide army at the crucial juncture of war with stan. He was the worker of congress and 85 yrs old who had been setup to do drama which has gone wrong. Otherwise why his companion who knew about poison and his son to whom he called and informed took no action of calling ambulance and police. It is crime to commit suicide and all his friends shud be booked for the same.
                1. S
                  Nov 4, 2016 at 4:02 am
                  These are sad times for India. Like Rohith Vemula, a Dalit, who committed suicide in the beginning of 2016, the suicide of to Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal is being denigrated by the rulers and police is playing the same cover-up role. His mental state is being questioned, his sacrifice is being denigrated as ‘selfish’, not for OROP cause but for ‘4 anna’. In the case of suicide of Subedar too Delhi police under the direct supervision of Modi government not only got physical with the grieving family of Subedar but arrested all those political leaders, including CM of Delhi, Kejriwal, who came to sympathize with the family at hospital and the mortuary.
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