Amid recent protests over the Delhi gangrape incident, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Police to reduce policemen deployed for VIP (Very Important Person) security and use them to provide safety to women in the national capital.
The Delhi Police told the apex court that thousands of personnel are deployed for the security of judges.
"After hearing Delhi Police's arguments, the apex court said that many of these personnel could be deployed for better purposes like making the Delhi roads safe for women," The Times of India reported.
"The SC has given states time till February 11 to file affidavit on deployment of policemen for VVIP security," the newspaper reported.
The court said in case the states did not file their replies by Monday Feb 11 then state home secretaries will need to appear before the court personally on Feb 16.
The apex court made the comment a day after Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday admitted that women do not feel 'safe' in the national capital.
"Women don't feel safe in Delhi," Dikshit told media.
On Dec 16, the six raped and brutalised the 23-year-old medical student with an iron rod on a moving bus.
The victim succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital on Dec 29.
Bedi welcomes SC questioning VIP security at ordinary citizens' expense
Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and activist Kiran Bedi on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement ordering all state governments to furnish in two days details of how many police personnel in their states are assigned to politicians.
Bedi said this is a very salutary order of the apex court.
"I would alert Mr. Harish Salve that don't just go by the list produced by the Home Secretaries and the DGPs. There will lot of diversion also, which will be not recorded but shown posted in police stations and battalions, but they will be working in the houses either in pilots or in escorts," said Bedi.
"I think now the civil society whenever they see a VIP movement of this kind, which has a siren and who have this red 'batti' and they want to take away out. They have a pilot and they have large escorts and they have these policemen who are pushing other people away. Shoot them on the mobile phone, ask the Delhi Police or file an RTI where did these staff come from. I think you will have two kinds of staff. One sanctioned, one diverted; I think we need to address both," she added.
Bedi further said release of manpower both from sanctioned and diverted would release power in the police stations.
The incident triggered nationwide outrage against rising cases of rape and brutalization of women in India with people pouring into the streets of New Delhi for days and demanding a change of law and strict punishment of the accused.