Amid talk that the Delhi Government might propose trifurcation of Delhi Police to have control over its traffic management and law and order maintenance wings, questions are being raised if the step would indeed benefit the Capital’s citizens in the long run.

To have a better control, the State Government might suggest a new arrangement under which the security component could remain with the Centre while it would have under it the traffic and law and order maintenance or general policing wings.

However, reacting to the idea of trifurcation, a senior police officer said it was very difficult to split the force in such a manner. “A police station is the basic part of the law and order machinery, but it is also an intrinsic part of security arrangements for various purposes. In New Delhi district, the local police are involved in every aspect of security for VIP movements and also because it houses embassies and vital installations like Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhavan and other government offices. Under these circumstances, how would they segregate the local police from the security component?” he asked.

Another police officer pointed out that in most of the federal States the respective capitals are federally administered. “There is a reason behind that. Delhi being the country’s Capital houses a large number of Central installations. A large number of international dignitaries keep visiting the Capital and arrangements have to be made for their stay and visits. All this requires a coordinated action under a single command,” said the officer, adding that traffic management, security and general policing are a combined effort.

Citing several instances of transfers and postings of officers at the “whims and fancies” of the ruling parties and leaderships in other States, the officer said the Delhi police could also meet the same fate.

“Under such an arrangement, the impartiality of the police would entirely depend on the quality and inclination of the political leadership. After all, we do not live in Plato’s ideal State,” said the police officer.

The officer claimed that the Delhi police was by and large neutral as it was merely one of the many agencies under the Centre’s control. He also raised the issue of budgetary allocation for the force under such an arrangement.

However, those seeking a greater accountability on the part of the police are supporting the proposal as they feel that through the representatives it would be easier for the public to mount pressure on the police to take urgent corrective and pro-active steps to control the law and order situation in the Capital in a much better way.

Eventually, any such move by the State Government would be construed as being aimed at improving the law and order situation in Delhi by making the police more accountable to the people.

Devesh K. Pandey