New Delhi: Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar on Monday ruled out his resignation in the wake of alleged police insensitivity in dealing with the child rape case but promised exemplary action against policemen found lax in handling it.
"If my resigning will prevent such depraved action of the society, then I am ready to resign a thousand times. But that is not going to address the problem," he said at a press conference, the first media interaction after the case of a five-year-old child being raped and brutally assaulted by a neighbour in East Delhi came to light four days ago.
"But that is not going to solve the problem. The problem is one of mental depravity, one of psychopathy, the problem is one of mental sickness and that is not going to be sorted out by anyone resigning," he said.
When a reporter asked him whether he would resign following demands made in the context of the rape case, Kumar asked a counter question, "If you do some wrong reporting does your editor resign?"
The Police Commissioner had come under severe scrutiny and demands were made for his removal even during the agitations in protest against police inaction at the time of gang-rape of a girl in a moving bus on December 16 last year.
Asked whether he feels that Delhi Police was doing a bad job, he said "not at all".
"Absolutely," replied Kumar, who is set to retire in July, when asked if he was satisfied with his tenure as Delhi Police Chief.
Kumar said police personnel who allegedly offered Rs 2,000 to parents of the child to hush up the case are yet to be identified. He admitted that the police personnel did not act the way they should have done.
It is not humanly possible to stop all rapes: Delhi Police chief
The Delhi Police, which has come in for sharp criticism and is under tremendous pressure following a rise in cases of rape and atrocities against girls and women in the national capital, on Monday claimed that a lot has changed since the brutal gang-rape of a medical student in December last year.
"Let me tell you that because of the instructions that were given, every woman complainant who comes to a police station, her report shall be recorded verbatim, her report shall be recorded irrespective of the jurisdiction, and if a case is made out, a case shall be registered. We have seen a phenomenal increase in the registered crimes related to offences against women," said Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
"The rise in instances of rape cases being registered by the police is 158.66 percent. The rise in molestation of women is 600 percent and the rise in number of eve-teasing cases is 783. 67 percent. This shows that the tendency that existed earlier to dissuade women from getting their complaints registered or registering the complaints of their cases has changed dramatically. It has happened post the 16th December (gang-rape case). This itself shows that the instructions we have given are working on the ground," he added, while reading out the figures.
Kumar, who was talking to mediapersons at the Delhi Police Headquarters here, said the men in uniform have acted swiftly upon various cases involving crimes against the feminine gender.
"Out of the cases that have been reported, the working out percentage is 85 percent of rape cases, 86 percent of molestation of women cases, 95.8 percent cases of eve-teasing. This itself shows the response of the police and how swiftly it has acted and how swiftly it has managed to crack them," he said, when asked what can the Delhi Police offer at this point of time to ensure security of women and now that it comes to children as well.
Drawing attention of the media to the recent rape of a five-year-old girl in east Delhi's Gandhinagar area, Kumar said 'it is humanly possible for the policemen to prevent a case like this in which a neighbour lures a girl who is playing into his room and commits a crime'.
"Is it possible for police to prevent it? The fact of the matter is, please understand.... rapes are opportunistic crimes committed within the confines of private spaces. 97 percent of the cases are committed within homes and only three percent of the cases are committed by strangers," Kumar said.
"In ten cases, fathers were involved, in two cases stepfathers were involved, in nine cases an ex-husband or husband was involved, five cases cousin, nine cases brother-in-law, two cases father-in-law, 115 cases neighbours, family relative friends -twelve, friends lovers-178, landlord-eight, tenant-three, employer-15, instructor, tutor, principal-three, doctor-2, priest-one," he added, while quoting figures for the current year up to 15th April.
The Delhi Police Commissioner's remark comes at a time when protests continued in the national capital for the fourth day today demanding justice for the five-year-old rape victim and mounting pressure on him to step down from his post.
Neeraj: Will my quitting remedy the situation?
Neeraj said that his exit won't help remedy the situation.
"If my resigning will prevent such depravity in the society, then I am prepared to resign a thousand times. But that is not going to address this problem," he told the media persons at a press conference here Monday.
Neeraj Kumar said the factors responsible for the rising crimes against women in the city were those of mental depravity, psychopathy and mental sickness.
"And that won't be solved by anyone resigning, least of all the leader of the police force," he said.
Taking on the media, Neeraj Kumar asked: "For any misreporting that you do, does your editor resign? This is my counter question."
He said it was not "humanely" possible for the police force to prevent rape cases like that of the five-year-old.
"Is it humanely possible for a policeman to prevent a case like this? Can the police prevent it? The fact of the matter is rapes are opportunist crimes committed within the confines of private spaces. Ninty-seven percent of such cases are committed within the confines of homes, only three percent are committed by strangers," he said.
Asked if he was satisfied with the functioning of the department during his tenure, Neeraj Kumar, who retires in July, shot back: "Absolutely". It is the only department which takes most action against the "erring subordinates", he added.
On the behaviour of some policemen following the rape incident, the commissioner said that no time was lost in initiating action against the police officials concerned.
"Various allegations have been made about the conduct of police officials post the incident. One major incident was the slapping of a girl by ACP (Assistant Commissioner of Police) B.S. Ahlawat. I lost no time in placing him under suspension. Further action against the ACP will be taken after an inquiry by the Delhi government," he said.
Neeraj Kumar agreed that prima facie there were shortcomings on the part of police.
"Within a few hours of the incident, we came to know that prima facie there was shortfall in the reaction by the staff of Gandhi Nagar police station. I placed them under suspension as they did not respond as they should have," he noted.
The commissioner said that efforts are being made to identify the policemen who offered Rs.2,000 as a bribe to the rape victim's father to hush up the case.
Her said the girl's father has been busy with her treatment, thus identification of policeman who offered bribe hasn't taken place. However, the department was ready to facilitate the parade of staff of Gandhi Nagar police station at AIIMS if needed.
"Exemplary action will be taken against policemen found lax in dealing with the child rape case," he said.
The police chief also refuted claims that there was a delay in the registering the FIR.
MHA inquiry finds faults in chain of command in Delhi Police
A one-man inquiry committee set up by the Union Home Ministry is learnt to have indicated lapses in the chain of command of Delhi Police in handling three recent incidents, including the rape of a 5-year-old girl.
The probe, conducted by Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, is said to have suggested changes in the Delhi Police hierarchy and measures to make the force more pro-active, official sources said today.
The inquiry is said to have found that there was a delay of a few hours in registering the case of rape of a child after the parents complained to the police on April 15 when she had gone missing, thus losing crucial time in finding the five-year-old.
The child was rescued 40 hours later from the ground floor of the same building where she was living.
Ganai also probed the alleged assault on West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra two weeks ago in the national capital when he was accompanying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on a visit to the Planning Commission and the storming of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's residence by Jat protesters on April 10.
The inquiry report is understood to have suggested there was no liasoning between the Delhi Police and the entourage of the West Bengal Chief Minister before her visit to the plan panels office.
Neeraj Kumar has links with Navy war room accused, claims AAP
Demanding his ouster in the wake of rape of a five-year-old girl, Aam Aadmi Party today alleged Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar has links with Navy war room case accused Abhishek Verma, a charge vehemently denied by the police chief who said he is "initiating" legal action.
Kumar rubbished the allegations as "baseless, unfounded and ludicrous" with the sole intention of "besmirching my personal integrity, reputation and competence" and said necessary legal action is being initiated against AAP leader Prashant Bhushan in this regard.
Addressing a press conference on a day when angry protesters, including those belonging to AAP, were demanding Kumar's removal from the post, Bhushan claimed Verma's close associate Edmonds Allen had written to government earlier that Kumar has links with the alleged arms dealer.
Reacting to the allegations, Kumar said, "Prashant Bhushan has made several false, scurrilous and defamatory allegations against me, which are baseless, unfounded and ludicrous, with the sole intention of besmirching my personal integrity, reputation and competence."
"These allegations are at the behest of persons who have been arrayed as accused in investigations conducted under my supervision during my tenure in the CBI," he said in a statement.
Kumar said he had already issued a legal notice to retired bureaucrat M G Devasahayam, who had raised similar allegations. Devasahayam's writ petition in this regard was entertained by the Delhi High Court.
"Prashant Bhushan is now acting at the behest of the same vested interests, i.e, accused persons and particularly those whom I had investigated during my tenure at the CBI and who have thereafter filed several petitions against me, as I was not willing to bend or compromise in his case," he claimed.
Kumar said he is a highly decorated officer and have received medals from President, commendations from various state governments, successive Directors of CBI in recognition of meritorious service.
"The allegations levelled by Bhushan are clearly with oblique motives and are being made for vested political interests. Necessary legal action is being initiated against him in this regard.
"I will continue, at all times, to put the interests of the country, its citizens and of the Police Force above my own interests and those of my family," Kumar said.
Referring to the security cover provided to business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, Kejriwal said the government is more interested in providing such facility to these people forgetting that it is the common man who badly needs it.
Bushan also described the action against eight persons following the death of Delhi Police Head Constable Subhash Tomar as an attempt by the government to malign AAP.