Sheila Dikshit feels vidicated after Verma Committee report

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 17:50 hrs

Keeping up her offensive against Delhi Police, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday said she was "glad" that Justice J S Verma Committee report had vindicated her stand on conduct of the force in the aftermath of the brutal gangrape incident.

Asked about the committee coming down heavily on Union Home Secretary R K Singh for praising Delhi Police Commissioner after the December 16 incident instead of coming out with an apology, Dikshit said she was happy that the very eminent committee made observations similar to hers.

"I am glad. I have said it earlier this was no way of responding to such a serious situation by just saying that we have done a wonderful job and three cops have been suspended and that the rapists have been caught within eight hours or seven hours of the incident. We were all very disappointed.

"What I said came from my heart because the issue was not how much time it took to get to the rapists but the issue is why such a rape took place and why nobody was there where the rape was taking place. I am happy that the Verma Committee report has the same observation what we felt that time," she said.

Dikshit, complimenting the report of the panel, said her comments about law and order situation and police response in the wake of the December 16 gangrape of the 23-year-old had come from her heart as she was deeply shattered. The Chief Minister had demanded resignation of the Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar in the wake of the brutal gangrape.

When referred to Committee's adverse comments against police over handling the protests at Raisina Hills and India Gate, Dikshit said the panel's observation was similar to that of civil society and right thinking people.

"It is an observation of a very eminent committee. The civil society has been feeling exactly the same way. The committee in its report reflected the emotions of the people who are going through a rough time," Dikshit, who had slammed police for its crackdown on protesters, said.

The panel was critical of the police response to the protests after the incident, saying "the lathicharge on peaceful demonstrators after the December 16 gangrape has scarred the Indian democracy."

Describing the incident as a "warning bell" for the whole society, Dikshit requested every citizen to bring a positive change in society in order to ensure security, safety and dignity of women.

Asked about the panel's observation about "peculiarity" of city government not having any control over Delhi Police, Dikshit said the common citizen expect the elected government to be looking after them.

"The common people expects the elected representatives to respond to their problems. They do not know the administrative details. I have said it many times. The Justice Verma Committee has also said it. The High Command knows about it. The Home Ministry knows about it. Let's see what happens," she said.

Exhorting people to take a lesson from the gangrape incident, Dikshit said time has come to bring about "change" in society so that women feel safe and secure.

"I never felt insecure when we grew up. But today raising a girl child is challenging. We were three sisters and we never missed a boy amidst us," she said, recalling her early years.

"We all must bring a positive change in society in order to ensure security, safety and dignity of women," she said.

While expressing deep concern over the declining sex ratio, Dikshit said the incident of female foeticide are becoming more common in affluent society.

"It has been noticed that in one of the neighbouring states, the families are forced to bring their daughter-in-laws from far off states and even from other countries as the sex ratio has touched the lowest which is alarming for the entire humanity," she said.

"We all are responsible for this state of affair as desire for having a son in the family is becoming more and more forceful," she said.

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