Integrity Score: 380
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Night of shame continues……
On the evening of 17 December I received a call from Sonia Singh of NDTV, who asked me rather curtly, ‘Mr Kumar, don’t you think you should resign from the post of commissioner of police in view of the horrific incident of gang rape?’
Until then I had been monitoring the developments in the case calmly, pleased with the recovery of the bus, the arrest of the first accused and the unravelling of the mystery behind the crime. Sonia Singh’s brusque question jolted me. I wondered why a senior journalist, who was usually quite affable and personable, and was from a respected channel, would ask for my resignation. We had always shared a cordial relationship, and she was the first media person to interview me after I had taken over as commissioner of police. Indeed, a horrific crime had taken place, and I, as police chief, was as upset as, if not more than, anyone else. My officers and men were working overtime to resolve the case. We had already made a significant breakthrough during our overnight investigation and had arrested an important accused. No police failure on any count was evident. On the contrary, the response of the PCR, the pace and methodology with which the bus had been traced and the first accused arrested by the south district police were developments that everyone should be pleased with, I thought to myself. But the focus seemed to be on why the crime took place at all.
A reasonable answer to this question could be that the safety of women in Delhi has always been a sore point with the citizens of the national capital, and understandably so. The common perception is that women are not safe in public spaces in Delhi. A girl walking along a road or in a marketplace is often the victim of men staring at her lecherously, making suggestive comments and catcalls, and on some occasions, even physical outrage of her modesty. In public transport, groping hands or deliberate body contact is not infrequent.
To be continued……