Prime accused Ravi Kapoor reportedly went around in a full police uniform often. He also possessed other khaki paraphernalia that helped him pose as a Special Cell officer to strike fear in his Madangir neighbourhood,believe local residents. Police officers,though,say it is as easy as stepping out to the nearby market to get a police uniform.
Besides uniform,other police apparel or item,such as caps,badges,belt,fake identity cards,exclusive parking stickers and stars depicting police ranks are just as easily available. And all this for between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000,say shopkeepers stocking these items.
In the Capital,one can buy uniforms and articles from Vijay Nagar market in Kingsway Camp,Connaught Place,Delhi Cantonment,Karol Bagh,Chandni Chowk and Lajpat Rai among other markets. Besides police,army and paramilitary forces uniforms are also available in these shops; and there are specialised tailors who will stitch a uniform for anyone who pays.
A senior officer said there is no ban on buying or wearing khaki,but it adds to security woes when other articles like police badges,belts,stars and such are so easily available in the market. Significantly,militants who attacked Parliament on December 13,2001 were in police uniforms; they came in an Ambassador car with a Home Ministry sticker and the special Parliament label.
Newsline visited Vijay Nagar market on Wednesday and found about a dozen shops,including a few tailors,dealing in police,army and paramilitary uniforms and paraphernalia. A police uniform comprises the khaki shirt,trousers,belt,cap,badges,whistle cord,nameplate,socks,shoes,peak cap crests,logo,stars depicting the rank of an officer,plates put on officers cars,and identity cards.
A shop employee in Vijay Nagar market,who did not wish to be named,said,A full police uniform comprising all these items costs up to Rs 2,000. Besides officers,even civilians visit these shops and buy readymade uniforms or place orders for them to be stitched,the shop employee said.
Red beacons of police vehicles,the baton and related items are also available in these shops.
Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said,Normally we give two sets of uniforms each for summer and winter to our men but anyone can go and get them stitched as per requirement. We give orders to mills for our uniforms.