New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) Two days after a security breach in Delhi Metro when a 22-year-old man shot himself at a crowded station, Delhi Police has once again expressed its interest in managing the rail system’s security. Officials said they were ready to take over the responsibility from the CISF, but need additional manpower.
Delhi Police had in 2014 expressed interest in guarding the Delhi Metro.
“We are competent to handle Delhi Metro security. If the home and transport ministries allow us, we are ready to provide security in Metro,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Metro) Jitender Mani told IANS.
Mani, however, clarified that his seniors have not forwarded any such proposal to the two ministries.
The police official did not hesitate in blaming the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Delhi Metro for such incidents.
“Delhi Metro has the responsibility of its structural set-up while the CISF is in charge of security. There is really a breach of security and this fault is already highlighted by the CISF in its security review done earlier,” Mani told IANS.
The security issue was raised after Shibesh Kumar Pal, a 22-year-old martial arts trainer from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, entered the metro rail system from Chandni Chowk station at 6.35 p.m. on Thursday and travelled to Rajiv Chowk where he shot himself on the extremely busy foot-overbridge connecting the platforms.
Sources said Delhi Police in 2014 had drafted such a proposal and it was also discussed by officials at the joint commissioner-level and above, but it got stuck after the police top brass, CISF and DMRC were divided on the issue.
The Metro DCP said: “If they (Delhi Police) would be provided 5,000 (additional) force, they are competent to provide security in metro.”
However, Delhi Police and the CISF agree informally that the presence of both was only adding to the confusion.
They say it was paving the way for a blame game in case of any untoward incident such as last year’s attack on African students at Rajiv Chowk station.
The move, officers say, will also establish culpability in such incidents.
“If overall security of Delhi Metro is entrusted to Delhi Police, there will be better coordination with outside agencies like disaster management. Delhi Police has a vast network of PCRs and mobile police vans. We have communication networks which will cost less for the government exchequer,” the proposal read.
The proposal said Delhi Metro was “threat-prone” and perpetually on the terrorist radar.
“Delhi Police has dedicated units like special branch, SWAT, anti-sabotage gadgetry and special cell which regularly provide inputs on terrorists and anti-social elements. Profiling of commuters can also be done better,” it said.
A CISF official, on condition of anonymity, however, said: “No such proposal has till now been sent to the home or the transport ministry. We are fully competent in providing security to Metro commuters. We have already discussed the issue which led to the security breach, but it was just a structural fault.”
“The issue to take over Metro security from CISF is totally false,” he said.
Delhi Police had handed over Metro security to CISF in 2005 although then Metro chief E. Sreedharan favoured Delhi Police’s cover and a unified command, a Metro official recalled.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)