By Harshit Pande
The very recent alleged rape of a Danish woman at knife-point is another blot on the National Capital. Security issues ail the Capital. A concerned and an active law minister is what Delhi needs to root out the problems of ever increasing crime rate in the National Capital. Somnath Bharti, the advocate turned politician, the law minister of Delhi has the makings of a good law minister. Besides, the minister for Women and Child welfare Rakhi Birla claims that the police have been shielding suspect in a case of dowry harassment and has turned something like a vigilante. The cherry on top of the cake seems to be the blame the Chief Minister puts on the Delhi police for the current state of affairs.
It certainly is a state of confusion. The Chief Minister blames the police. The law minister seems to be bullying the police into making arrests and conducting searches. Superficially, we may be led to believe that a lot is changing in Delhi. The enthusiasm of the law minister to put an end to hubs of vices, after being tipped by certain sources, seems praiseworthy. The raid on suspected drug and prostitution rings point to the minister’s concern. But a lamentable fact is that the minister, a lawyer himself, seems to have ignored the due process of conducting such raids. Another thing unfortunate is the minister’s apparent surety but visible lack of evidence that the Africans involved are Ugandans or Nigerians. The law minister needs to be careful as slips of tongue can make his job even more difficult (Bharti named the Danish rape victim in a press release).
In a case of dowry harassment, claims Rakhi Birla, the Delhi police has shown a particularly lethargic attitude. Birla visited the locked house of the suspects and asked the police to break in to search it: another minister becoming a vigilante. Noble though the intentions may have been, possible political rivals to their advantage may use breaches of the procedure.
We need to note that the Delhi Police functions under the control of the central government. The chief minister has no power over it. The Delhi government can, of course, direct the police. What is required of the law ministry in the present day situation is a strategy which is not based on unsourced tipping that the minister receives about possible areas where drug and prostitute rings thrive. Turning into vigilantes may not prove to be a very effective idea. Tackling situations which involve foreign citizens and possible violations of India’s migration laws (the Africans arrested refused to produce their passports) needs subtlety and of course solid evidences of misdeeds, lest these raid may be interpreted wrongly and result in backlashes.
As for the blame game, it’s too early for Mr. Kejriwal to get into it. AAP government is a government of well-read, intelligent people who certainly have the ability to look into matters that affect the capital and devise policies to handle the issues of the capital. Conclusion: AAP ministers need to act intelligently, rashness can cause permanent damages.
Harshit Pande: Is a first year student at National Law University, Odisha pursuing a B.A. L.L.B degree. Is keenly interested in sociology, psychology and history, though finds time for literature and philosophy. Loves to read, and at times writes. Is a firm libertarian. Feel free to contact him at email@example.com
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