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Politicians not involved in my removal: Delhi police chief

Source: PTI
July 23, 2013 20:15 IST
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Ready to call it a day after nearly a year-long controversial tenure, Delhi Police Chief Neeraj Kumar on Tuesday said a "motivated campaign" was launched against him in the aftermath of December 16 gang-rape incident but maintained that quitting had never crossed his mind.

Strongly defending the police action in handling the massive protests after the incident, the police commissioner, who will retire this month end, said he was personally targeted during his tenure but ruled out involvement of politicians in the campaign aimed at removing him.

The outgoing commissioner counts bringing professionalism into his over 80,000-strong force and cracking of a number of high-profile cases including the spot fixing scandal, as his major achievements during his 13 month-long stint as head of the force.

"I am not a quitter. I don't believe in running away from situation. So I never considered quitting. It was a motivated campaign and it's over," he said when asked whether he contemplated quitting after his removal was demanded by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after the police crackdown on protesters at India Gate and Raj Path.

Asked to identify the people, who he feels had hatched a conspiracy to target him during his tenure, Kumar, a 1976-batch Indian Police Service officer, refused to name them but said they were not politicians.

"I will not give their names just now.... They are not politicians," he told PTI in an interview. Kumar, however, indicated that he may name them once he demits office.

Justifying the police action against protesters in India Gate following the gang-rape incident, Kumar said the force did not have any option but to remove the crowd as Russian President Vladimir Putin was arriving in the city and preparations had to be made at the Raj Path for Republic Day celebrations.

"It is misconception that we did not handle the (protests) well. Throughout the day we tried to persuade them, we tried to request them to disperse. We fired teargas shells, we fired water canons several times.

"It was a leaderless crowd. Lumpen elements had begun to hijack the entire campaign. So we had to take action...we had no option. When all other options failed, we resorted to cane charge and the crowd melted away," he said. 

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