Delhi Police Raising Day
By Maxwell Pereira
Jt. Commissioner of Police/Traffic, Delhi

maxpk@vsnl.com

It was on 16th February 1948, that Delhi Police came into its own operating under the leadership of a separate Police Chief. And so this day is observed as its 'Raising Day' - and each year the force strives hard during the week long celebrations commencing 16th Feb, to show case itself with its best. The Raising Day parade this year on Sunday the 16th was even more spectacular, with pomp and pageantry, heads high, chests inflated and their best foot forward - in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, Minister of State in the Home Ministry Haren Pathak, Cabinet Secretary Kamal Pandey, Delhi's Lt. Governor Vijay Kapoor, and a score of other dignitaries, including a galaxy of retired doyens of the police fraternity who have made Delhi their home.

Showcased at the parade were the marching columns drawn from Delhi's District Police, the 'best-marching-contingent-in-the-Republic-Day-Parade' from the Armed Police, the Women and the helmeted Traffic Police, the Disaster Management team, the Riot Police and the dare devil Commandos. The dogs were there, the mounted police contingent adjudged the best in the All India Police Equestrian Meet, the Traffic Qualis Interceptors and motor-cycle Squad, the PCR flying Squads, the Vajra riot control vans with the Water Canon, and the famed Delhi Police Band soaring high everyone's soul with its marching signature tune 'Delhi Police' composed by the noted Louis Banks.

The colourful brochure once again drew attention to the dawn of Delhi Police's history with its first Kotwal, Malik-Ul- Umra Fakruddin who was appointed in 1237 and headquartered in Qila Rai Pithora (today's Mehrauli) - succeeded by Malik-Ul-Mulk in 1297 appointed by Allauddin Khilji. The sepoy revolt of 1857 brought an end to the Kotwal system, at which juncture by the way the last Kotwal of Delhi was none other than Gangadhar Nehru the grandfather of India's first Prime Minister.

Addressing the Parade on this occasion, Police Commissioner Radhey Shyam Gupta said Delhi Police successfully overcame in the last year numerous challenges and ably discharged various responsibilities. Even though Delhi is the Capital of the largest Democracy and the hub of numerous activities - National, International, Political, Cultural, Commercial and Spiritual, it maintained the law and order, checked crime and overawed its criminals. Intelligence inputs warranted exhaustive police arrangements at the Republic Day Parade and the Beating Retreat - but the challenges were successfully surmounted. Security arrangements were ensured at thousands of other occasions like processions, rallies, religious festivities, festivals like Dusshera, Deepawali, Eid and the Ramlilas.

Despite demands of security considerations, the effective professional approach ensured a 9% decline in the crime graph this year as compared to last year. Alongside the heinous even petty offences relating to the common man were taken seriously, with special attention paid to crimes against women. While six dreaded terrorists were eliminated in police encounters, 41 more were put behind bars. Pak-trained terrorists who had intended to create disaster and mayhem at Ansal Plaza on 3rd November were eliminated; and so were the ones planning attacks on security personnel and temples, similarly killed in encounter on December 14, 2002. A death sentence was secured within a year, to the conspirators of the Dec 13, 2001 Parliament attack.

Commissioner Gupta emphasized that the success of any police force depends on its people-friendly attitude and the trust placed in it by the public. Hence, the need for improvement in behaviour, language and work attitude, to create the image of a well-wisher and a friend. Simultaneously on the need to modernize and introduce technology. Communication through computers and fax machines even up to the police station levels. The success of the Traffic Police and the Crime Branch's modernization efforts including through e-mail, SMS, Website and so on!

Responding to the Commissioner, the country's Dy PM was gracious to announce to the force a Welfare Grant of a Crore and a half of Rupees and to double the budget allocation for police housing. He commended the awardees of the day - 32 of them who were investitured for Gallantry, Meritorious, and Distinguished Services. Taking note of the competitions for the best police station, Mr Advani said he would be happy to see the Delhi Police adjusted the best among the police forces in the country, if and when his suggestion to the National Police Academy to draw up parameters for adjudging the police forces nation-wide, is implemented!

(The author can be reached at http://planetindia.net/maxwell or his email: maxpk@vsnl.com ) 750words. 04.02.2003: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You can interact with the author at http:// www.maxwellperira.com and maxpk@vsnl.com

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