Terming hate crimes against people from the Northeast as a case of "racial profiling", the Delhi High Court today asked the city Police Commissioner to undertake the masive drive to sensitise its 83,000 strong police force about preventing such crimes. "You know as to how the persons hailing from northeast are being referred to? We are not worth being called a constitutional democracy. This is racial profiling....
"No body can claim any title over any territory on the ground of caste, creed, region or religion. Forget common people, you need to sensitise your police force first," a bench of acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said.
Issuing a fresh direction, the court said "the Police Commisisoner shall direct all DCPs that they should sensitise police personnel with regard to the problems faced by the citizens from the Northeast."
On being told by Delhi Police that the drive has already been undertaken, it said "we are of the view that more is required to be done and each one of 83,000 odd police personnel is required to be sensitised." It said either education or the fear of being "caught, punished or prosecuted" will work and each police personnel be told that they cannot allow the criminals to go. The bench, which had taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the death of Arunchal Pradesh student Nido Tania, had earlier issued a slew of guidelines on the issue of sefety and security of Northeast citizens. "We further direct that a special unit be set up on the lines of Crime Against Women (CAW) cell," it said.
The bench also asked Delhi police to file a status report on or before March 26 giving details of actions taken by them on 47 complaints received from Northeast peoples on recently-launched helpline number: 1093.
It also sought to know the status of the Centre's proposed move to seek policemen working in northeastern states on deputation with Delhi police so that persons from that region feel "safe, secured and satisfied".
The observations came after the HC perused a status report filed by police in pursuance of directions issued on Fenruary 12.
During the hearing, the court said the national capital belongs to all and "we don't want ghettos". "It can't be the case that you are safe only at places where you are in majority. You should feel safe and secure at every place," it said.
Earlier, the court had issued a slew of directions to check hate crimes in Delhi and asked the Centre and city government to come up with a law to prevent such crimes against migrants. It had ordered speedy disposal of such cases and deputing personnel from the Northeast in the police as part of efforts to ensure safety of people from that region. The bench had said that the recent incidents are indicative of a disturbing trend of intolerance to movement of people within the country, which threatens the integrity of the country. It had asked police to ensure safety of people from the Northeast by deploying force in localities where such migrants stay, providing separate helpline number, and giving it wide publicity.