In the aftermath of a terrible tragedy, eminent Indians petition the President to remove a police chief they deem to be incorrigibly corrupt and end what they call a “rotten state of affairs.”
India is up in arms. For years, crimes against women have gone unpunished. This time it seems to be different. Widespread outrage has shaken a complacent and corrupt government. Yet, it has not announced any substantive reforms or for that matter any administrative measures to improve the situation in the country.
The dire state of affairs has caused some of India’s most eminent citizens to ask the President to intervene immediately and effectively. They have petitioned the President to remove Delhi’s police chief who is alleged to be corrupt and incompetent. Their ire has been irked by the fact that the government responded to the rape of the 23 year-old medical student with pious homilies and little action. Apart from announcing the formation of a three-member Commission of Inquiry to “suggest ways to make stricter rape laws,” the government did little else.
Those who have signed the petition have served in India’s military and civil bureaucracy. They have impeccable reputations and immense credibility. In the petition, they state their concern for rule of law in the country and conclude that an effective police is essential “for safeguarding the life, livelihood and dignity of the citizens.” They go on to lay down charges against Neeraj Kumar, the current Delhi police chief, that include fabrication of documents during an investigation and humiliation, harassment and torture of an innocent citizen during his time in India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). They mention Mr. Kumar’s links with an arms trafficker and money launderer, Abhishek Verma, and go on to allege that he has amassed ill gotten gains in Swiss bank accounts. They cite the fact that Mr. Kumar was found unworthy to be appointed as Director of CBI by the Selection Committee headed by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, India’s anti-corruption czar, as further evidence for his moral turpitude.
The petitioners believe that Mr. Kumar is responsible for the efficiency and efficacy of the Delhi police declining to its lowest ebb” and for the “atmosphere of complete lawlessness.” They point out that heinous crimes like rapes, murders and thefts have become the order of the day and most crimes are committed with “the active collusion and complicity of the police officers.” Even the bus on which the medical student was raped was reportedly identified through informal records of illegal buses that ply after paying bribes to the police. They allege that Mr. Kumar tried to “intimidate the lady Magistrate recording the statement of the rape victim” and slapped murder charges against young protestors after inflicting violence and repression on them.
India’s eminent citizens allege that the police is part of “the larger ‘kleptocratic-mafia’ that seem to be running the country.” Ending with a series of questions pertaining to Mr. Kumar’s past and patronage, they question whether proposing “stricter rape laws” will serve any purpose. They ask the President to “advise the political parties to seek the immediate resignation all MPs and MLAs who are presently facing proceedings in Court on criminal charges, particularly heinous ones like rape and murder.” A full copy of the petition can be found in PDF form below.
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