NGO seeks action against Delhi Police chief

New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) A Delhi-based international NGO Tuesday asked the government to hold the Delhi Police chief responsible for the force’s continued lack of response to rape victims.

The NGO also sought immediate and strict action against errant police officers following the rape of a five-year-old in the capital.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an independent international NGO, said: “Institutional response cannot be limited to disciplinary measures marked by long, closed inquiries. Beyond the arrest of culpable officers, command responsibility must flow from the assistant commissioner to the commissioner and also to the Delhi State Security Commission on which the highest political leadership sits along with the police.”

In a statement, CHRI director Maja Daruwala urged Delhi Police and the government to punish both acts of omission and commission to the fullest extent of the law, without seeking to shield the officers or minimise the gravity of dereliction of duty.

“Only these can be the first real steps in responding to the serious public anger against police behaviour that is playing out on the streets,” he said.

Daruwala said the changes in law brought about after the Dec 16 gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman have little meaning if the police continue to defeat justice through their embedded subversive practices.

Stating that Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar has accepted there was “poor response” to the plight of the five-year-old rape victim, he said the police leadership must be made to know it will be held responsible for grave acts of omission and commission by subordinates who are in charge.

“Without this we can be sure that tragedies will continue to multiply and the public will remain unsafe and without remedy or recourse because of bad policing,” Daruwala added.

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