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‘Muslims don’t trust us and I don’t now why?’: Delhi police chief

Addressing a press conference on 16 October, Delhi police commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma said that 'Muslims do not trust the police force. They are always hostile towards us. We have always been facing problems on that count. I don't really know why.' 

The Delhi police commissioner's candid confession came in the wake of the killing of Muhammad Irshad Khan, a Muslim trader by four policemen in Seelampur area of the East Delhi on 11 October [see above]. Irshad's murder came after several other incident of deaths while in police detention around the same time in the capital. The Delhi Commissioner of police also emphasized the need to humanize the police. Sharma has told the police officers in clear terms that brutal methods would not be tolerated. 

The image of police has nose-dived in the recent times with spate of killings in police custody and fake ‘encounters.’ About 600 persons have died in custody of police in various parts of the country during the past three years. Another 2900 persons died while lodged in jails. These figures are based on the National Human Right Commission data. The NHRC chairman and former chief justice of India JS Verma recently said that 'In spite of the human right cells being set up in various police headquarters there has not been any significant decline in genuine complaints of human rights violations committed by the police.'

Delhi police commissioner's candid comment on the Muslim's distrust of the police force has sparked off a heated debate in all sections of the society. Some people including police officials have endorsed his view whereas others have opposed the comment. Muslims feel vindicated that a top police official has confirmed what the community felt all along for many years in view of rampant police hostility to the community in general.

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