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Delhi gang-rape: Dikshit demands accountability of senior police officers

Last Updated: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 21:29

New Delhi: Demanding accountability of senior police officers in the gang-rape incident, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday wanted immediate setting up of fast-track courts to try rape cases with provisions in the law even for death penalty in rare cases like the one that rocked the Capital last week.

She also called for a "serious look" at VIP security deployment in the Capital, saying it cannot be an "excuse" for not providing security to the common man.

After a meeting of her Cabinet, she met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and presented him a letter containing the decisions of the Cabinet on ensuring better security for women in the capital.

She said that suspension of a few lower-level policemen was not enough and senior officers should also be held accountable.

Dikshit said the city government would urge the Delhi High Court Chief Justice for immediate setting up of fast-track courts to try rape cases and to get justice in a time-bound manner.

"The law should be such that it should be able to invoke life imprisonment or death in serious cases like the one that happened to the 23-year-old girl in Delhi," she said.

She parried a question on whether Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar should be removed, saying, "I am not somebody who is to take the decision."

"Removing one or two constables will not instill confidence. The highest officer who is in charge of the area where the incident had taken place should be held responsible to restore public confidence," she told reporters after the meeting with Shinde.

On the need to ensure security to common man, the Chief Minister said VIP security should not be made an "excuse" to make an ordinary citizen feel "insecure".

"Patrolling should be increased. Visibility of police should be enhanced and deployment should be rationalised. If there is need to cut deployment for VIP security to ensure security of common people, then it should be done," she said.

The Chief Minister said Shinde would speak to Delhi High Court Chief Justice D Murugesan on the issue of setting up of fast track courts. "We may, if required, go and see him so that it (courts) goes fast track," she said.

Dikshit also urged the Home Minister to ensure that policemen are deployed on public transport for ensuring safety of women.

The Chief Minister rushed to Shinde`s residence immediately after the emergency Cabinet meeting which expressed serious concerns about the prevailing law and order situation in the capital following violent protests at India Gate.

Sources said the Cabinet felt that concrete measures must be taken to instill confidence among women in the city.

At her meeting with Shinde, Dikshit asked him to ensure that the Police Commissioner, the Lt Governor and the Home Ministry to immediately put a mechanism to prevent occurrence of such incidents in the capital.

Since the confidence in law and order machinery is shaken, she said, steps must be taken for restoration of the same.

"There is a need to set up a Police Complaint Authority to look into complaints against personnel. There is also a need for fast track courts for time-bound disposal of cases," she told Shinde.

Dikshit also demanded that strict and immediate action should be taken against officers and personnel responsible for dereliction of duty in connection with the Sunday gangrape.

Police should be made accountable and responsive, she said.


First Published: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 18:41

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