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Are Delhi cops ready to tackle terrorists
Published on 21 Aug. 2010 11:30 PM IST
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A Right to Information (RTI) application filed by CNN-IBN reveals that policemen in India’s national capital have been regularly skipping the mandatory firing practice in recent years, thus raising questions over their ability to tackle emergency situations such as terrorist attacks. The revelations come at a time when just a month is left for the commencement of the Delhi Commonwealth Games (CWG) scheduled to be held from October 3 to October 14.
What’s even more shocking is the fact that 2009 – the year succeeding Mumbai terror attacks - saw highest number of policemen abstaining from firing practice.
In 2009, out of 240 Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs), only 27 attended the firing sessions while only 3 out of 40 Additional Deputy Commissioners of Police (Addl DCPs) undertook the practice. Only 7 out of 50 DCPs fired the mandatory rounds in 2009.
The information received by CNN-IBN reveals that 2009 was not an exception. In the last 5 years, the numbers of policemen attending firing practice have been falling continuously.
In 2007, out of 240 ACPs, only 111 fired practice rounds. It went up marginally to 143 in 2008. In 2007, out of about 40 Addl DCPs, only 13 practiced whereas in 2008, it went up to 17. Again in 2007, out of 50 DCPs, 19 attended firing practice. In 2008, it rose to just 21.
The record was even worse when it came to senior IPS officers. Out of 8 Special Commissioners that are currently there in Delhi, only one has attended firing practice in last 3 years. Of the 17 Jt Commissioners, only 5 practiced in 2007.
In 2008, multiple terror strikes by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in Mumbai exposed the inability of the city’s police to tackle terror threat and it took three days for security forces to kill all terrorists. It seems the lessons of Mumbai have been forgotten.
As India readies for the CWG, which is considered a high-risk event, CNN-IBN has learnt that not a single supervisory officer has undergone the firing session so far.
Delhi Police rules make it mandatory for every officer to fire at least 30 rounds from a 9 mm pistol or a .38 bore revolver as practice each year. It’s now fairly clear that even this minimum requirement is not being taken seriously. The more important point of how good they were still remains unanswered. When asked for a reaction, Delhi Police chose not to comment saying senior officers play only a supervisory role.

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