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Delhi needs a new police chief … | Editorial HT – editorials


Many people have to take responsibility for the anarchy observed in parts of Delhi in the last four days, in itself the result of what happened in the city-state for several months.

Part of the fault lies with the Ministry of Interior of the Union. He handles the Delhi Police, and has not been involved with people protesting against the Citizenship Law (Amendment), or CAA, the critical point of much of the violence. Part of the fault lies with the protesters, peaceful and violent, pro and anti-CAA. For months, Shaheen Bagh has organized a peaceful protest against the CAA. It is probably the most successful Occupy movement in the world, but protesters, having expressed their opinion, refuse to move to another place; The sitting is located on one of the main roads linking Delhi to Noida. His continued sitting is a magnet for pro-CAA protesters, and the city-state has been just a spark from a major incident. As for pro-CAA protesters, some of them seem to believe they have the blessing of the state and may fall into violence with impunity (some of the police actions suggest that they can). Then there are the violent anti-CAA protesters whose violence is not always a response, but sometimes a provocation. Part of the blame should be directed at political parties of all shades; from this, a disproportionate amount should be assigned to the Bharatiya Janata Party because it is in power in the Center and is better placed to do something.

But much of the blame must be reserved for the Delhi police. Again and again, it has been found missing. Your assessment of situations has often gone wrong. Your planning has been inadequate. And your answer has generally been the wrong one. Worse, its response speed (or lack thereof) has allowed situations to get out of control. For example, on day 1, he could have cleared Shaheen Bagh and moved the protesters to an alternative site if he had wished, and in the most recent violence in northeastern Delhi, the signs that all was not well since Saturday.

All point to a crisis of leadership and decision-making in the main law enforcement agency in the national capital. A new police chief is expected to be named in the next few days (the current one is in an extension until the end of the month). Hopefully someone who lives up to the most important police work in the country.

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