Asthana’s comments came at a programme, ‘Ummeed — a step together, towards a better tomorrow’, centred on the theme of communal harmony.
People who disturb peace and harmony should be identified and punished according to law, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said Wednesday during a visit to Northeast Delhi, which was hit by communal riots last year.
Asthana’s comments came at a programme, ‘Ummeed — a step together, towards a better tomorrow’, centred on the theme of communal harmony. It was his first visit to Northeast Delhi after assuming charge of police chief.
“I was not in Delhi Police when the riots took place. But being a police officer, it was very sad for me to hear about it. I was regrettable that this kind of problem arose in a city like Delhi, where people had almost forgotten riots. No community or religion is bad. People who follow religion are not bad. But in every community, there are some people whom we call anti-social elements and because of them, the atmosphere gets vitiated,” Asthana said.
The programme was organised by the Northeast district police at Shyamlal College. “We should try to identify such people in our society and punish them according to the law. Whatever peace has been established in this area, it is due to such programmes. It was established because of such people who believe that violence has no place in the society,” he added.
“Crime has no religion, and only a few anti-social elements spoil the social environment. Such unscrupulous elements need to be identified and dealt with as per law,” he said.
The ‘Ratan Lal Medal of Hope’ was also launched at the event to commemorate Head Constable Ratan Lal, who lost his life while on duty during the riots. Police said this is meant to instill values of peace and togetherness in future generations by awarding medals to students who take part in essay and drawing competitions on the theme of communal harmony, held under the banner, Nagrik Bhaichara Samiti. Poonam Bari, the wife of late Ratan Lal, was also felicitated by the police chief.
Asthana said that though police are trained to tackle all sorts of law and order issues, it cannot be achieved without support from society. “Being an important link in information regarding criminal activities, arrest of criminals or management of law and order issues, public cooperation is always required,” he said.
Communal clashes had broken out in Northeast Delhi last year where protests had been going on against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The riots left 53 people dead and more than 700 injured.
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