Timely Police action would have avoided riots: Former DGP

New Delhi: Former Director-General of the Border Security Force Ajay Raj Sharma slammed the Delhi Police for their role in the violence that shocked the Northeast Delhi last week.

Mr Ajay Raj Sharma also a former Commissioner of Police (1999-2002) in an interview with the wire said “he would have arrested BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra” for the inflammatory speeches they have made.

Sharma said, “I would have arrested Thakur after informing the Home Ministry… For Mishra (who is not an MLA), there was no obstruction in arresting him.”

He added, when Thapar asked him about Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast) Ved Prakash Surya standing next to Mishra as he gave an “ultimatum to police” at a rally in Northeast Delhi, Sharma said, “I would have called for his explanation immediately… Why did he not take action or tell him to stop… If the explanation wasn’t satisfactory, he would have been removed from his post.”

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Mr Sharma said the first mistake police made was “allowing Shaheen Bagh to take place… If Shaheen Bagh had not taken place, this riot would not have taken place. Shaheen Bagh was leading to communal tension because of the slogans being raised there.”

Obstructing roads is a cognizable crime and “when a cognizable crime takes place, you have to act as a policeman,” he said.

T R Kakkar, who served as Commissioner of Police, Delhi, from 1997-98, said, “For reasons best known to the government, and the Home Minister, a lot of restraint has been exercised by police. The perpetrators feel emboldened.”

Mr Kakkar speaking on the violence that shocked the national capital said Section 144 should have been imposed sooner, preventive arrests should have been made, and borders immediately sealed or at least police presence should have been increased.

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“Even when Section 144 was imposed, people didn’t care… They were already emboldened,” he said.

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