People from the Northeast who are living in south Delhi were in for a rude shock late Thursday when they were allegedly singled out by the local police and told to provide personal details.
Those who went through what later turned out to be an unauthorised verification drive complained that cops even barged into their rented homes asking them to fill out their particulars on sheets of paper.
Despite repeated attempts by HT, deputy commissioner of police (south) Bhola Shankar Jaiswal, was not available for comment. But one of Jaiswal’s seniors told HT: “When we got word about the survey, Jaiswal was asked to stop this foolishness and asked why he allowed it and the drive was suspended.”
David Boyes Akham, a senior volunteer for the safety of northeasterners in Delhi, said, “The incident is deplorable.”
The south district police’s drive has raised quite a few eyebrows. For one, neither the local police nor the south district DCP Bhola Shankar Jaiswal kept their bosses in the loop about it.
Jaiswal was later censured by his seniors and could not be reached despite several attempts.
While a few termed the police’s act of catching hold of the community members randomly ‘arrogance’, many called it a blatant attempt at racial profiling.
“There were different versions within the police itself,” said a volunteer who was forced to go through the drive. “At some places, the police personnel said they were carrying the drive out to invite us to a community meeting on Sunday while at other places they said they were updating their records.”
Nula Kongshimran, a northeast representative said, “It was being done for the sake of it and to give a sense of inclusion without actual inclusion.”
A volunteer quoted the SHO of a south Delhi police station as acknowledging that there was no advisory or instructions from the police administration about it.
“How could such a drive be held without permission either from Deepak Mishra, special CP (law and order) or Robin Hibu, the joint commissioner of police (training) and nodal officer for the welfare of the northeast Indian community in Delhi?” wondered a senior police officer.
Utter apathy of the police seems to have made south Delhi one of the most dangerous areas of the city for people of northeast Indian-descent. Crime against the community has already registered a three-year high with the police receiving at least two criminal complaints every day.