Inaugurating the new Delhi Police headquarters at Jai Singh Road Thursday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asked the force to be proactive and responsive towards redressing grievances of the public.
Stating that the Narendra Modi government is trying to make people understand the challenges that police face every day, Shah said: “To make the ‘law and order’ system accessible to all, police must be sensitised and must help the public with their grievances. Also, we (public) need to change our perception and understand the sacrifices the police make for us since they work day and night to protect us.”
Cautioning them that new buildings do not guarantee a reformed police force, he stressed on the need to change the image of police: “It can be achieved only by transforming the spirit of policing towards being public-service oriented. Only then will the public image improve and the efforts the force is making achieve the intended positive results.”
Stating that internal security is the Modi government’s top priority, Shah said: “We have undertaken a lot of work to improve security at the borders, and cracked down on fake notes.” He also said security forces are working diligently towards accomplishing it.
He congratulated the Delhi Police for its new headquarters and said, “Finally, after 70 years, they got their own house. It was delayed but it happened for good.” He added that the inauguration could not have happened on a more auspicious day than the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the country’s first home minister and the ‘Iron Man of India’.
He paid tribute to Delhi Police personnel who lost their lives in the 2001 Parliament attack and were conferred the Kirti Chakra, and to inspector Mohan Chand Sharma who was killed during the 2008 Batla House encounter.
“The Modi government has developed the National Police Memorial in New Delhi, which chronicles the sacrifices of over 34,000 officers and jawans who laid down their lives for the country,” he said, and urged the public to visit the memorial and witness the challenges faced by police forces and sacrifices made by them in securing the nation.
Talking about the importance of the police in the nation’s progress, Shah said that a stable law and order situation is most important for economic growth and social development in the country. He observed that the police is perpetually projected in a negative light in popular media, but the sacrifices made round-the-clock by officers and jawans to ensure the safety of citizens are seldom highlighted.
“Such a kind of negative projection demoralises our police force. The public image of police needs to change,” he said.
On the contribution of Sardar Patel in national integration, Shah said he was known for his actions, more than his words, and for integrating over 550 princely states at the time of Independence. “Sardar Patel accomplished a near-impossible task of surmounting tough challenges in a short time and creating a united India that we are proud of today,” he said.
Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik said: “The new police headquarters has been built in a public-private partnership mode at a cost of Rs 286 crore. It is spread over an area of eight acres.”
For women officers and policemen who have no one to look after their children at home, a creche has also been made.