New Delhi: Amid growing demands for his resignation, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar on Monday said he won’t step down over growing crimes against women in the capital, stating that his exit won’t help remedy the situation.
“If my resigning will prevent such depravity in the society, then I am prepared to resign a thousand times. But that is not going to address this problem,” he said at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday.
Neeraj Kumar said rising crimes against women in the city pointed to an increase in mental health issues. “And that won’t be solved by anyone resigning, least of all the leader of the police force,” he said.
Taking on the media, he asked: “For any misreporting that you do, does your editor resign? This is my counter question.”
He said it was not possible for the police force to prevent rape cases like the one involving a five-year-old who has again rallied public opinion on the issue of crimes against women in New Delhi.
“Is it humanely possible for a policeman to prevent a case like this? Can the police prevent it? The fact of the matter is rapes are opportunist crimes committed within the confines of private spaces. Ninety-seven per cent of such cases are committed within the confines of homes, only three per cent are committed by strangers,” he said.
Asked if he was satisfied with the functioning of the department during his tenure, Neeraj Kumar, who retires in July, shot back: “Absolutely”. It is the only department which takes most action against the “erring subordinates”, he said.
On the behaviour of some policemen following the rape incident, the commissioner said that no time was lost in initiating action against the police officials concerned. “Various allegations have been made about the conduct of police officials after the incident. One major incident was the slapping of a girl by ACP [Assistant Commissioner of Police] B.S. Ahlawat. I lost no time in placing him under suspension. Further action against the ACP will be taken after an inquiry by the Delhi government,” he said.
Neeraj Kumar agreed that there had been shortcomings on the part of police in responding to the situation. “Within a few hours of the incident, we came to know that prima facie there were shortcomings in the reaction by the staff of Gandhi Nagar police station. I placed them under suspension as they did not respond as they should have,” he noted.
The commissioner said that efforts are being made to identify the policemen who offered 2,000 rupees (Dh136) as a bribe to the rape victim’s father to hush up the case. He said the girl’s father has been busy with her treatment and thus identification of the policeman who offered bribe hasn’t taken place. However, the department was ready to facilitate the parade of staff of Gandhi Nagar police station at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences if needed, he said.
“Exemplary action will be taken against policemen found lax in dealing with the child rape case,” he said.
The police chief also rejected claims that there had been a delay in registering the first information report about the assault on the girl.