Flashback 2014: Delhi saw 100 per cent rise in crime graph

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New Delhi, Dec 21: Delhi Police made several arrests of key members of banned Indian Mujahideen this year including its chief Tehseen Akhtar but faced major law and order challenges with Trilokpuri riots and a 100 per cent spurt in crime graph in the national capital.

Women security, which has been the Achilles' heel of the force since the brutal gangrape of a physiotherapy student in 2012, was again in the spotlight when a 27-year-old financial executive was allegedly raped by a Uber cab driver inside his taxi on December 5.

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However, unlike last time, police was praised for a prompt action in the case. The case of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor who was found dead at a 5-star hotel on January 17 remains the biggest mystery of the year with conspiracy theories flying thick and fast but no concrete development taking place in the probe.

The anti-terror unit of Delhi Police, Special Cell, tasted major success this year as it managed to neutralise the top leadership of banned terror group Indian Mujahideen. Its Indian operations chief Akhtar alias Monu was arrested by the unit from Indo-Nepal border on March 25. His arrest had come days after another top IM operative Zia Ur Rehman alias Waqas was nabbed from Ajmer in Rajasthan along with three of his associates.

On September 6, Special Cell nabbed another operative Ajaz Sheikh, who allegedly provided logistical support during IM strikes and sent anonymous mails after them from outside Saharanpur Railway Station in western Uttar Pradesh.

The year, however, several communal flare ups in the national capital with the one that took place on Diwali night in East Delhi's Trilokpuri area escalating into a major law and order situation leaving at least 70 injured including 56 police personnel. Police had to impose prohibitory orders in the area and it took nearly a fortnight for things to normalise.

Police used drones to patrol the streets of the riot-hit zone which remained highly successful. Tensions also escalated in Outer Delhi's Bawana around Muharram over route of the procession after a mahapanchayat objected to it. The festival was then celebrated under heavy police presence in subdued manner. The year saw a steep rise in the cases of attacks on policemen.

Till December 15, more than 300 such cases were reported including one in which an Assistant Commissioner of Police was attacked and brutally beaten up in a case of road rage in south Delhi on October 17. Seven policemen lost their lives and 17 were seriously injured till December 15 while two cops were killed and 13 were injured in the entire 2013.

During the early part of the year, Delhi Police had several run ins with the then AAP government, the most important being the then Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's dharna at Rail Bhavan in the heart of the national capital and altercations of Somnath Bharti, who was then the law minister, with the local ACP and SHO over raiding an alleged drug and prostitution racket in South Delhi.

Another case which made headlines this year was the death of Nido Tania, son of a Congress MLA from Arunachal Pradesh who was allegedly beaten by some shopkeepers in South Delhi. The incident became a watershed moment bringing to light racial abuse and targeting of people from the northeast in the national capital.

Delhi Police, which drew a lot of flak in the case, has since then set up a new unit and a helpline number 1093 to address any grievance faced by people from the northeast. All these things kept Delhi Police on its toes this year but the alarming part is that the crime recorded in the city almost doubled than what it was last year. According to official data, till November 30, a total of 1,39,773 cases under various sections of IPC were registered in the national capital as against 69,298 cases in the corresponding period last year.

Till November, 1,985 cases of rape and 4,004 of molestation were registered. In 2013, a total 73,958 IPC case were registered out of which 1,559 were cases of rape while 3,347 cases were those of molestation.

Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi attributes this rise in crime graph to "truthful registration" of crime and women feeling more confident in coming forward to report if a crime is committed against them.

In a major technological solution to ensure smart policing, Delhi Police on February 28 launched the 'Delhi Police Lost Report' app through which people are able to report loss of things like mobile phones, documents like bank passbooks and certificates etc on their smartphones.

Till October, more than 5.5 lakh people had used the app for registering complaints for loss or theft of various items. A digitally-signed document is provided to the people who use the app to register cases which can then be used to get the document reissued.

Similarly, nearly 8,000 Police Clearance Certificates were issued after a web application was launched for the service in August. Buoyed by the success of the twin initiatives, Delhi Police is soon going to launch an app through which people can file an FIR for the theft of motor vehicles.

The Delhi Police top brass has also asked its personnel to download WhatsApp in their phones and use it extensively for communicating among themselves to ensure effective policing.

The police which used drones to patrol the streets during Trilokpuri communal flare ups and also during immersion of idols at Yamuna during Durga Puja and Ganesh Chaturthi is now planning to deploy them in north Delhi for night patrolling. The UAVs will be fitted with night vision cameras and help police keep a tab on secluded areas and dark stretches.

PTI

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