New Delhi: The spurt in crime in Delhi, particularly the open use of firearms, was mainly because of the police inaction and lack of pro-active policing, said former Delhi Police Commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma, in an interview with IANS.
"Recent incidents, like firing on the cops, murder of a woman in a car close to the DCP's office, and criminals riding car bonnets, firing and killing civilians, prove that the Delhi Police have gone into sleep mode. Criminals get emboldened when the police go silent," said Sharma.
On the reason behind the police inaction, Sharma said, "What I am saying is based on the 37-year-long experience in the police department. If there is fear of law among people, who would like to take to the crime."
"If there is no fear of law, the criminals will take advantage of the situation and will become emboldened," said former Police Commissioner.
Neeraj Kumar, former CBI Joint Director and ex-Delhi Police Commissioner, said, "Rise in criminal activities is a slow and gradual process, and happens when criminals think the police are slow to respond. Once criminals get emboldened, it becomes extremely tough for the police to salvage the situation."
Kumar, who tightened noose around underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, told IANS, "If the police are pro-active, and constantly turning heat on criminals by hot pursuit or other methods, miscreants won't try take an upper hand."
"Actually, criminals have their own way of working. They wait for the police to go silent and then gradually raise their heads. The police need to be constantly on the criminals' trail. It's the people who suffer due to the police slackness," said Sharma.
Another former police commissioner, on the condition of anonymity, said, "I don't see any magic formula for the Delhi Police to tackle the rise in crime. The police will have to make a lot of efforts to cover the lost ground and to control the law and order situation, which has deteriorated to a new low."
In a blunt message, former Commissioners advocated fixing the responsibility for deteriorating law and order situation. The onus of failure was at the top -- with the Police Commissioner, and no one else, they said.
Kumar, who was instrumental in deportation of terrorist Aftab Ansari from Dubai, said, "The festive season is here. People will come out in large numbers to celebrate Navratra and Dussehra. Criminals will try to have their way. It's a litmus test for the police to see that festivals go without any major violent incidents."
The police department would have to ensure better coordination between the top and the bottom of the force to defeat criminals, who were out to create mayhem on the streets, he added.