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Pitfalls of Law Enforcement

Ved Marwah

By O.P. Mishra
Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2011, pp. 269, Rs.545.00


The task of policing in Delhi is far more complex than any metropolitan city in India. The author, a serving police officer in Delhi, has done an excellent job of telling his readers why it is so. He has analysed in detail the nature of policing the largest city and capital of the country in the background of its history and problems peculiar to it. Delhi is the oldest and the largest city in the country. The chapter on the Seven Cities of Delhi and the patterns of policing makes for fascinating reading. Delhi is the fastest growing metropolis in the country. It has grown from less than a million at the time of Independence to about fifteen million today. From a sleepy capital it has become a bustling industrial and commercial centre. It attracts people from all over the country looking for employment or for bettering their prospects. Mishra has analysed in some detail the multi-dimensional and complex challenges faced by the Delhi Police. This includes dealing with all types of law and order problems, organized crime, terrorism and high grade security to the many VIPs and the diplomatic community. Influx of huge migrant lpopuation due to uneven economic and social development in different parts of the country adds to Delhi Police's woes. Mishra has made full use of available crime and case study data and empirical surveys to support the conclusions based on his personal experience. He has been quite frank in expressing the many infrastructural limitations and constraints in policing this huge city. What India's first Prime Minister noted more than sixty years ago which the author quotes is, unfortunately, true even today. By and large the police in India and not only in Delhi continue to rely on 'masses of policemen about' in dealing with most law and order problems. That training and professionalism that is required of an average policeman in dealing with the complex problems of policing in Delhi has improved but much more needs to be done. Social tensions, religious disputes, growing economic disparities, and regional, ethnic and linguistic differences, as pointed out by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made policing much more complex and these assume serious dimensions in the largely unplanned and haphazardly grown city of Delhi. Delhi has more vehicles on road than all the three other metropolitan cities, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, put together. As rightly pointed out by ...

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