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Where fear lurks around every corner

Monday, 16 December 2013 | Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi

After the December 16 gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedic in South Delhi, the Delhi Police had decided to increase security presence and intensive checking at ‘vulnerable points’ and ‘dark stretches’ in the Capital.

But a year later, nothing much has changed on the streets. Absence of police personnel and inadequate streetlights continue to haunt many deserted stretches of the Capital.

The Delhi Police have failed to provide protection to Delhiites during night hours, even though they claimed to have beefed up patrolling in the city. To check whether the patrolling teams of the Delhi Police are working efficiently, especially at unsafe points, a reality check conducted by The Pioneer revealed that not only were there lapses in security arrangements, but the police personnel — including the emergency duty officer — were found lethargic during duty hours.

Lutyens’ Delhi has 24 such points and 46 stretches, while South Delhi has 29 points and 46 stretches. There were no PCR vans in New Delhi district area and some streetlights were also not functioning in the Ridge Road area. No security guard was deployed at Buddha Jayanti Park, but all the entrance gates were closed. Some PCR vans were found deployed outside the embassies in Chanakyapuri and near Parliament.

No security personnel were found in Mandir Marg area and Tughlak Road area. Several dark stretches and vulnerable spots were found in these. The South District Police does not believe that dark can be dangerous as one PCR van would have been seen doing the roads of the area.

The scenario was the same in South Delhi where after the 16 December gang-rape, police personnel had started working at night but several months later, security during night hours is lax.

However, despite the Delhi Police’s claim to increase security measures in the Capital, Mahipalpur flyover was found deserted, despite the fact that the 16 December gang-rape victim was dumped here.

Neither the Delhi Police nor the Gurgaon Police have taken any measures to keep MG Road safe despite knowing that most heinous crimes, especially those against women, have taken place here and that this is the road criminals use to flee to Delhi.

After the gang-rape incident, police have identified some Vulnerable Entertainment Hubs: M2K Market, Sector 3 of Rohini, Central Market, Ashok Vihar, YWCA, Metropolitan Hotel, Antariksh Bhawan KG Marg, Le Meridien, Taj, Sarojini Market, INA Market, Kirti Nagar Market, Vasant Vihar and Embassy Hotel.

“Some of the dark stretches that have been identified are — M Block Greater Kailash I, Aurobindo Marg, Chirag Delhi stretch, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Marg in Hauz Khas, Gole Market, Todarmal Lane, Vakil Lane, Ridge Road T-point, Sardar Patel Marg, INA Market, Dwarka, Karol Bagh and Delhi Gate,” the officer added.

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