Spurt in shootouts in Delhi, commissioner says situation under control

July 17th, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Blaming the media for creating panic after a series of shootouts involving a biker gang in the capital, Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal Thursday said the crime situation was under control and people should keep their faith in the police. “I would like to point out that the crime situation and law and order are under control. There is no increase in the crime graph. In fact, cases of heinous crimes have dropped by eight percent in comparison to last year,” Dadwal told reporters here.

“Use of firearms is also the lowest in 2008 as compared to the past eight years. Our case workout ratio has gone up to 83 percent. You cannot say the crime rate has gone up on the basis of a few incidents of the recent past,” Dadwal said, defending his officials.

He was speaking in the aftermath of nine shootouts that claimed at least nine lives since July 1, causing panic and fear among the capital’s residents.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit summoned Dadwal and reviewed the law and order situation in the capital.

According to sources, Dikshit asked the police chief to take immediate corrective measures ahead of the assembly elections slated by the year-end.

Meanwhile, sleuths of Delhi Police’s elite Special Cell and Crime Branch are said to be on hot pursuit of a biker gang that killed four people and shot at two more in two days. The police have so far failed to explain any motive behind the shootouts.

The gang first struck July 5, when they gunned down property dealer Sonu, 25, outside his Sangam Vihar residence. The police said the gang also killed two friends - Ashneet Singh, 24, and Harjeet Singh, 26 - at Amar Colony near Lajpat Nagar Friday.

The assailants, joined by two others from the spot, fled on the bike of the two victims. Barely a few minutes later they shot dead Sanjeev Suri, 30, near the Andrews Ganj crossing in Defence Colony area when one of the stolen bikes ran out of fuel.

The gang first tried to snatch the motorbike from Suri, who was waiting at the traffic signal. But when Suri protested, the assailants shot him dead at point-blank range. According to police, the same members of the ‘Bunty gang’ Saturday shot Naresh and Pawan, both around 30, in south Delhi’s Dakshinpuri area.

Officials were also suspecting their role in late Wednesday robberies in two shops in east Delhi.

“We have announced a reward for them and the gang would be arrested. Motive would be cleared once they are arrested. In recent shootout cases we have made arrests and would continue doing that,” Dadwal added.

Blaming the media coverage of the crime incidents, Dadwal said fear among people was caused by inappropriate projections in the newspapers and television channels.

Sticking to crime statistics, he lauded his officers for their “exemplary and good work”.

“My officers are doing a great work. We have cracked the most sensational cases but you have to keep in mind the growing population in the city. Dimensions are changing,” he said.

The police chief said they had arrested five people for carrying out a robbery of Rs.6 million in a jewellery shop, Gems and Jewellers Art, June 9.

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