Following the death of a 21-year-old motorcyclist, whose throat was slit by a metal wire used to bind two police barricades at Netaji Subhash Place last year, the northwest district police has been trying to acquire around 200 barricades from the General Administration Department (GAD) to prevent such incidents. In the last 11 months, however, they have not received a single barricade.
According to police sources, the file is stuck between the GAD and the Provisioning & Logistics (P&L) Unit. When contacted, Additional DCP (northwest) A K Lal said he can comment on the matter after looking into the file.
The incident took place on February 9, 2018. “Abhishek Kumar was riding a two-wheeler without a helmet. As he entered F-Block in Shakurpur, he spotted barricades on both lanes… They were tied with a thin iron wire, which was reportedly not visible from a distance. Thinking he could pass through, Kumar rode ahead. However, his neck got stuck in the wire,” an officer had said.
The Indian Express accessed documents which show that several letters were sent by DCP (northwest) Aslam Khan and Additional DCP A K Lal to several units concerned at the Delhi Police headquarters.
Khan first approached the (P&L) unit with a letter requesting 200 barricades, which were not delivered despite repeated reminders. The DCP then sent a letter to the General Administration Department. “In total, 870 barricades are available in the northwest district, but these are not sufficient for ‘effective picketing/barricading’ to curb crime incidents of motor-vehicle thefts as well as during agitations and processions,” Khan said in one of the letters.
Following the incident, seven policemen were suspended and the Station House Officer of Netaji Subhash Place police station was transferred to district lines. A departmental inquiry was initiated against them and an FIR registered under IPC Section 304-A. With no new development in the probe since then, DCP Khan recently directed that the case be looked at afresh.
Issuing directives to all DCPs, police chief Amulya Patnaik had said barriers and barricades must be placed at sufficiently illuminated roads. He added that they must have florouscent paint, blinkers and reflective tape to make them visible from a distance at night. “Patnaik had also asked all DCPs to identify all broken, unpainted and shabby barricades and ensure they are repaired immediately,” a senior police officer said.