Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to take up the matter with the Union Home Ministry

Strange as it might sound, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s convoy of three vehicles was once literally pushed off the road by a dozen-strong convoy of the then U.P. Chief Minister Mayawati in the heart of the Capital. If this is what the Chief Minister has to put up with, one can well imagine the plight of Delhi’s citizens day in and day out.

And it is not only the police escorts and large convoys of Chief Ministers of neighbouring States that have been giving hapless Delhiites a harrowing time. Of late the city has been hit hard by “misuse” of police personnel from other States by the very people they are supposed to protect.

With the recent Chhattarpur farmhouse shooting incident in which police personnel of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab were present, and violence at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, where again Punjab Police cops were present, bringing to the fore the dubious role played by armed policemen of other States, the Delhi Government would once again be raising the issue with the Union Home Ministry.

Expressing concern at the increasing trend of police personnel from other States being involved in criminal situations, Ms. Dikshit told The Hindu that she would be discussing the matter with the Chief Secretary to take it up in an appropriate manner. “In the last Delhi Assembly elections there was an Akali candidate in Jangpura who would move around with Punjab Police escorts in an intimidating manner. We had then first raised this issue with the Home Ministry through the Police Commissioner. Thereafter too the issue had been flagged a few times.”

Unnecessary show

of strength

In Delhi, the Chief Minister said, such unnecessary show of strength should be prohibited. “I can understand if the Governor or the Chief Minister of a State has such escorts. They just come for a few days and then leave. But for someone else to possess such guards armed with AK-47 and carbines and remaining in Delhi for a long time without proper permission makes no sense.”

Ms. Dikshit recalled how when the issue of providing personal security officers to all Delhi MLAs was raised in the Assembly, the Union Home Ministry had stated that security would only be provided on the basis of individual threat perception. So while only about a sixth of Delhi MLAs have security guards, businessmen and small-time politicians from other States have been spreading “gun culture” in Delhi.

Even when it comes to the dignitaries or senior politicians from other States, Ms Dikshit believes a cap should be put on the number of escort vehicles and personnel they can have. The huge vehicles of these dignitaries simply bulldoze the ordinary motorists off the road.

With the security personnel of these dignitaries waving motorists aside to make way for their convoys, it often appears that the Capital’s citizens are being treated no different from the “cattle class”. And Ms. Dikshit believes it is now time for order to be restored.

  • “Should be a cap on number of escort vehicles, personnel dignitaries, senior politicians carry”

  • “Businessmen, small-time politicians from other States spreading gun culture in Delhi”