How to make Delhi safer – Part 1 : Get the weapons!
International Women’s Day in India was greeted with the cold blooded murder of a Delhi student, Radhika Tanwar. She was 21 and on her way to college. One can sympathize with her family and friends but there is no way we can feel or experience the pain it has brought them. Around the same time the stupid body called UN inducted Iran into the UN ‘Women’s Council’. So much for women’s rights. And if you think that is horrendous, the UNHCR was about to pass a resolution praising Libya’s human rights record. This even as a civil war is raging in Libya. It may be time to dismantle the useless body called UN. That’s whole different topic. But it may also be time to take a serious look at safety and security in Delhi and take a series of strong measures.
I am no security expert or political administrator. But this series intends to look at a few steps that are definitely ‘do-able’ to make Delhi safer and get rid of the ‘Crime Capital’ tag it has acquired. A long time back New York under Rudi Guiliani and the head of the police department dramatically reduced crime in NY. That was a city infested with criminals, mafia and if it can be done in NY, it can be done in Delhi too. This could apply to all other metros too.
|Students protesting Radhika's murder|
Not long ago Tejender Khanna, the Lt. Governor of Delhi, made a statement that “north Indians liked to break the law” and P. Chidambaram blamed it on migrants. Sure enough, PC was lambasted for his statement but there is some truth in what he said. That will be taken up in later parts in this series but let’s take the first step. Get rid of weapons in private hands.
Before that a central security agency needs to be formed. Very frequently the Delhi government, the Union Home ministry and the police play a blame game on crime and security. This can be stopped by forming a new central body like an ‘NCT Security Force’. Following which some ordinances need to be passed. The first among them should be to get rid of weapons. Here is what the ordinance should look like:
|Get rid of killer weapons|
Ordinance to surrender all guns held by private citizens, legal and illegal:
1. Pass an ordinance requiring all citizens, other than police and security forces, to surrender all guns within 7 days to the nearest police station. Guns can be regular or country-made or whichever way the govt. wishes to describe them. This includes guns for legal hunting. Rifles and guns used for sporting pursuits can be returned after due verification. Even some types of swords may be called for surrender.
2. If not surrendered within 7 days provide for a penalty of Rs.1o lakhs and imprisonment for 1 year. In case of inability pay the monetary penalty extend the imprisonment for an additional two years.
3. On expiry of the 7-day limit start a massive combing operation to weed out guns from society. Make random checks on citizens coming into Delhi to ensure no new weapons come in. The combing operations may reveal a lot more than just weapons.
4. Shut down all guns and ammunition shops. These should be sold only through police department outlets under the strictest supervision and monitoring.
I am positive there will be those who will argue that murders can be committed even with kitchen knives. It is this kind of faulty and silly logic that stops governments from acting. These steps do not imply that crime will be totally eliminated. That’s like eliminating evil people itself, which is not going to happen. But it sure will make a big difference and the steps I am recommending differentiate wanton crimes on the streets and other crimes. Motivated murder may not stop. Street crimes can be prevented, if not eliminated. Motivated murder does not need weapons. One can strangle a person with bare hands. But it does make killing a lot more difficult.
This may appear to be a diversion from my usual posts on the media. But if the Editors’ Guild got together and devised 10 steps to reduce and prevent crimes in Delhi such posts would not be needed. The Editors’ guild can not only devise those steps but strongly petition the government to act on it. But they won’t! On the contrary the media feasts on crimes. It is their bread and butter. This series will have 10 parts and will recommend 10 simple and doable steps to reduce crime on the streets of Delhi. This may well apply to other cities too. If you have suggestions, I welcome those.