Sheila meets Shinde, says probe lapses by senior police officers on night of crime

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday asked Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to probe lapses on part of senior police officers in charge of security on the night a 23-year-old woman was gangraped in a bus last week.

After meeting Shinde in the evening, Dikshit told Newsline, "Removing a few policemen is not enough. Authorities must examine the role of senior police officers in the security lapse."

Three junior police personnel were suspended on Saturday for oversight on the night when the bus travelled unchecked in South Delhi for over an hour.

Dikshit said she told Shinde that VIP security must be reduced to focus on general security and that patrolling must be visible to strengthen public faith in law and order.

"I told him the Lieutenant-Governor and the Delhi Police Commissioner should be more vigilant, as they are responsible for policing," Dikshit said.

She said she told Shinde that people feel serious cases such as this gangrape should not be out of the purview of death sentence.

Dikshit held a Cabinet meeting on Sunday to discuss law and order and decided to push a proposal to have Home Guards in all Delhi Transport Corporation buses.

"We are going to hold a meeting on Monday to decide on making public transport safer. Nothing is finalised, but we are definitely looking at Home Guards on public transport," Dikshit said.

A press release issued by Dikshit's office earlier in the day said the Cabinet expressed deep anguish and concern over the current law and order situation and appealed to the people to maintain peace.

But the Cabinet noted public confidence in law and order had been shaken and steps must be taken to restore faith in policing.

"We have to emphasise the need to sensitise police and to make it more responsive and accountable," the release stated.

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