Hours after taking charge as the Commissioner of Delhi Police, 1984-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana interacted with the Special Commissioners of Police, asking them to focus on building strong cases for “conviction” and to properly pursue Northeast Delhi riot cases in courts.
Just 27 days after Balaji Srivastava was given additional charge as Commissioner of Police, the Centre on Tuesday appointed Asthana as police chief until July 31, 2022.
Asthana was accorded the ceremonial guard of honour by the force on his arrival at the Delhi Police headquarters, around 2 pm.
“I believe in the basic concepts of policing, that is, maintenance of law and order, prevention of crime — that is the basic thing which we are supposed to do. If these things are done properly, peace prevails in the society. There are certain specialised problems, for which there are separate SOPs. We will work accordingly,” he told reporters.
After the media interaction, he first met Balaji Srivastava in his office, and then called a meeting with the Special CPs, JCPs and Additional CPs. “In his meeting, which lasted around three hours, he told officers they should start focusing more on securing convictions. He asked them to properly pursue cases lodged in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots in court,” said a Special CP rank officer.
More than a year after the riots, a Delhi court last week pronounced its first judgment in a case, acquitting a man accused of being part of a mob that allegedly attacked and looted a shop.
All Special CPs showed presentations to Asthana, while the Special CP (intelligence) briefed him about how, after the riots, their intelligence wing had started gathering information to ensure communal harmony.
“Asthana also told them that he believes in delegating work and expects that everyone should perform their duties without being nudged by their seniors,” an officer said.
“He told officers to prevent street crime, and that detection of crime and strong preventive measures not only reduce the crime burden, but also ensure a feeling of safety and security in the city, particularly among women and vulnerable groups,” the officer said.
Asthana also told the media: “Delhi Police has a brilliant past. Lot of good work has been done by the force in the past. Lots of complicated cases have been solved, complicated situations have been handled. I believe in teamwork and I hope we will be able to put our best foot forward for the betterment of society and prevalence of peace.”