New Delhi: Even as cries for his resignation over alleged police insensitivity grew louder among protestors and political parties alike, Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar ruled out the possibility on Monday, while promising action against policemen who mishandled the brutal assault and rape case of a 5-year-old girl in East Delhi.
|Official sources said papers were already in the works in the ministry of home affairs for Neeraj Kumar’s two-year extension
Since the case came to light four days ago, Aam Aadmi Party and extreme left groups like the All India Students Association and All India Students Federation have laid siege outside the police headquarters at ITO demanding that he quit.
According to sources, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is also not too happy with the Delhi police after protesters recently stormed his residence at Krishna Menon Marg, while a section of Congress leaders in Delhi are also believed to want him out.
Despite being in the eye of the storm, the police commissioner maintained that his exit would not help remedy the situation. "If my resigning will prevent such depraved action of the society, then I am ready to resign a 1,000 times.
But that is not going to address the problem," he said at a press conference on Monday. During the interaction, Kumar was unusually aggressive.
When a reporter asked him whether he would resign following demands made in the context of the rape case, Kumar asked a counter question, "If you do some wrong reporting does your editor resign?"
Kumar also highlighted statistics which indicated that 97 per cent of rapes were committed in homes, and only 3 per cent outside. “It is not humanly possible for a policeman to prevent an incident like marital rape,” he said.
So why is it that when Delhi’s top cop ruled out his exit and suggested that it was a political demand, only a few eyebrows were raised in political circles? Sources said that many in the government have vouched that Kumar was too networked and too useful to the UPA government to be trifled with.
In fact, neither the Congress nor the BJP have officially demanded his replacement. Official sources said papers were already in the works in the ministry of home affairs for Kumar’s 2-year extension.
The 1976 IPS officer is also believed to supervise closure of politically sensitive cases in Delhi such as cash for votes. The Congress leadership is also relying on him to ensure a clean wrap up before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Kumar, who became commissioner in June 2012, was also upset when he was not considered for the CBI director's post, sources said. However, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi insists that her party had no interest in saving Kumar’s job. “We have just set a higher goal.
We want the accountability to rest with the home minister, to whom the police reports,” she said, adding that AAP and other groups were targeting the police chief for their own reasons. “It is quite possible they are playing into the internal dynamics of the Delhi Congress.” - With Agency Inputs
2nd accused caught in Bihar
A teenaged ‘illiterate’ boy, the second accused in the rape case, was arrested from Bihar in the wee hours of Monday, two days after his friend and prime accused Manoj Sah was apprehended.
Pradeep Kumar, 19, (pictured right) was nabbed from his maternal uncle's house in Barahiya village and sent to transit remand for 15 days by a court, police said.
He is also said to have confessed to the rape, stating that “I have committed a big mistake". Pradeep's name surfaced in the case on the basis of interrogation of Manoj, who was caught in his inlaws' house in Bihar on Saturday.
Police sources said they have now invoked the sections concerning gangrape in the case. Bihar Director General of Police Abhayanand said Pradeep was produced before Lakhisarai Chief Judicial Magistrate Vishnu Dev Upadhay who sent him to transit remand.
He had fled from Delhi on April 15 after allegedly raping the girl, fearing that she was dead after they strangulated her. Police sources said Manoj told interrogators that Pradeep came to his house that evening and they had consumed alcohol.
Manoj claimed that Pradeep insisted on bringing a girl to the house, so he lured the five-year-old with a chocolate. Manoj also told police that he did not sexually assault the girl and it was Pradeep who raped her, they said. - Agencies