Delhi : Delhi police commissioner B.S. Bassi on Monday said the force would be happy to executed sex offenders “if the law permits”.
“I have faced this. When I say women must learn to defend themselves, people say I won’t to do my job. I will work. If the law give us permission to shoot, it will be our pleasure.
If the Constitution of India permits hanging on the spot and that hanging will be given by cops, Delhi police will not mind exercising that authority,” Bassi said at his force’s annual news conference.
The comments came in response to a question on spiralling crimes against women in the capital.
Bassi also said 1,000 traffic policemen would be issued firearms next month to handle emergencies. Over the past year, at least two traffic cops were killed and several others injured in road-rage incidents.
Asked about demands by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government that Delhi police, who report to the Centre, be handed over the state, Bassi said: “If the chief minister were to handle the force, it will have to face political interference in local issues.”
The comments on women’s safety prompted some to accuse Bassi of “sensational and irresponsible talk”. “Instead of acknowledging that the police are not sensitive to the victims of sexual violence and that they take the side of the accused and weaken cases, he speaks with this lynch-mob mentality… telling women they are responsible for their own safety is dangerous,” activist Kavita Krishnan said.
Ashish Khetan, vice-chairman of the Delhi Dialogue Commission a government body that co-ordinates with civil society slammed Bassi.
“It’s good fortune of Bassi that he doesn’t report to kejriwal, else he wd hv been removed by now for incompetence,” the AAP leader tweeted.
Former Delhi police chief B.K. Gupta said Bassi had only “echoed the public”. “The commissioner used the rider, ‘if the law permits’ . People often demand that rapists be hanged in public. His reply was specific to this public demand.”