Rape of a five-year-old girl in East Delhi in April rekindled anti-police protests. Visuals of an Assistant Commissioner of Police slapping a young girl who was protesting at a hospital made things worse for the beleaguered force. Delhi Police also got a new Police Commissioner in 2013 with Bhim Sain Bassi, a 1977 batch IPS officer, taking over from Neeraj Kumar, who had a tumultuous stint at the helm.
Some other major incidents which got Delhi Police into the headlines in the year gone by were the killing of a young biker in police firing in July and the arrests of suspected Hizbul militant Liaquat Shah in March and an LeT operative Shahid in December. The Crime Branch also arrested Narayan Sai, son of self-styled godman Asaram and the masterminds of the over Rs 2,200-crore 'Speak Asia' scam in which around 24 lakh gullible Indians were duped.
The year gone by also saw several cash van robberies and maids battered by high-profile people being rescued. The arrest of BSP MP Dhananjay Singh and his wife Jagriti for allegedly murdering their maid was one such case which made national headlines. Towards the end of 2013, a number of police personnel were arrested either for their illegal conduct or misusing their authority.
Facing criticism over the issue of women's security, Delhi Police introduced a slew of steps like setting up helplines and help desks at police stations, registering cases verbatim and anywhere in the capital without bothering about jurisdiction.
Women officers are now primarily investigating rape cases and patrolling has been increased, especially at night and on routes taken by BPO vehicles ferrying women.
But despite all these steps, there was no let up in crime against women which actually increased in 2013. The number of rape cases in the year gone by was highest in the past 13 years, although Delhi Police attributed this rise to greater awareness and registering of cases which otherwise would have gone unreported.
According to Delhi Police data, 1,493 cases of rape were registered in the national capital till November 30, 2013 which is more than double the number of cases registered in the same period in 2012. What was more alarming was the number of cases of molestation registered a five-fold increase.
Till November 2013, 3,237 such cases were registered as against 625 in 2012. Cases related to outraging modesty of women that includes eve-teasing and stalking also show a similar trend with the figure skyrocketing to 852 from 2012's 165. With all these happening, Delhi Police has its job cut out this year and will need to put in more concentrated efforts to erase the 'rape capital' tag from the city.
The year gone by turned out to be a mixed bag for Delhi Police
Outgoing Police Commissioner Kumar, who was in the eye of a storm after the gangrape incident and was on the verge of an untimely exit, got a new lease of life when the Special Cell stumbled upon the IPL spot-fixing scandal. The arrest of former India paceman S Sreesanth and Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chadila and Ankeet Chavan in May shook the cricketing world.
More than 30 people, including several cricketers and top bookies were arrested in this case from across the country. Followed by the revelations, Kumar had famously asked the media, "Do you still want my resignation?"
The Special Cell in August arrested Tunda, one of India's top 20 wanted terrorists, and alleged mastermind of over 40 bombings in the country.
The 70-year-old expert bomb maker of LeT was arrested from Banwasa-Mahendarnagar border with Nepal. However, the elite unit of Delhi Police courted controversy with the arrest of suspected Hizbul militant Liaquat Shah on March 20 from Indo-Nepal border in Gorakhpur with his family.
While Delhi Police claimed that with Liaquat's arrest they had foiled a 'fidayeen' attack in the national capital ahead of Holi, Jammu and Kashmir Police and his family insisted that he was one of those who had exfiltrated in 1990s and returned to India to surrender under the state's rehabilitation policy.
In July, in one of the biggest hauls of illegal weapons, the Special Cell seized 99 pistols and 198 magazines meant for various criminal gangs operating in and around the national capital. In October, it shot down top gangster Neetu Dabodiya who was wanted in over 50 cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping in an encounter near a posh hotel in South Delhi.
In December, the Delhi Police claimed to have unearthed Mewat module of Lashkar-e-Taiba with the arrest of a suspect LeT operative Mohammed Shahid. It also claimed that the module was planning to attack prominent market places in city. In the fag end of the year, the Special Cell busted an international drug cartel operating across Southeast Asia and the Gulf countries with the arrest of four alleged drug traffickers and recovery of 47 kg of heroin and 2 kg of cocaine, valued at Rs 150 crore in the international market.
One of the ugliest controversies Delhi Police had to face in 2013 brewed up in July when a 19-year-old youth was killed and another was injured when police opened fire allegedly in an attempt to stop a group of bikers from performing dangerous stunts in the high-security New Delhi area in the wee hours.
Although senior officials justified the action, activists and family members of the youth accused police of being "trigger happy". An inquiry is going on in the case.