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Cops hounded by cops

Residents of Parliament Street police colony claim their furniture was thrown out as the place has been earmarked for the new police headquarters

What will a police officer do when his own department turns against him? According to the complaint made by residents of police colony near Parliament Street, Delhi police officers threw their furniture out of their homes and harassed them on Sunday morning in order to vacate their quarters to make space for the new police headquarters (PHQ).


Home truths: Wives of Delhi police officers Vinay Sharma

Residents of the police colony allege that the department is trying to evict them forcibly. Even the station house officer (SHO) of the area has been accused of harassing and manhandling women. "Our family is living in this area for the last 56 years. Now cops are throwing us out. Our family has served Delhi police for so many years and this is what the department does to us? If they have to build the police headquarters here then they should allot us government quarters elsewhere. We applied for Ashoka police lines, but the request was declined. On Sunday morning, the SHO accompanied by 20-25 officers came to our house and threw our furniture out. They even misbehaved with us," said Chandra Prabha Sharma, wife of Vinay Kumar Sharma who is with Delhi traffic police.


Pradeep Kumar at their quarters in the police colony, which is soon to
be razed. Pics/MiD DAy


'Truth shall come out'
The residents have also filed an RTI plea to find out about the history of the area where they have lived for more than half a century. They found that the area lies under the Lutyens Zone's green area. No tree can be cut here. However, to make way for the new PHQ several trees - some more than hundred years old - would be axed. "If the department has asked us to move, we will shift.

But as we are attached to this area, we gathered more information which clearly shows that constructing headquarters here will be illegal. No trees can be axed in this area and there are so many old trees here. This is also a heritage site, being close to Bangla Sahib Gurdwara and Parliament Street police station where Bhagat Singh was arrested. So no new construction can be carried out," explained Chandra Prabha Sharma.

What a waste!
Locals also raise questions about wastage of public money for renovation of the colony, which was carried out in the year 2007-2008, keeping in mind the fact that the buildings were to be razed soon after. "According to the information furnished by different departments in various RTI replies, around three crore rupees were spent to renovate the police colony. Extra rooms and new doors were made in most of the houses in 2007-08.
However, Delhi police had got permission from home ministry to construct the new headquarters here in 2005. If they knew about this then why did they waste public money for the construction and renovation?" questioned Sashi Bala, wife of Delhi police officer Pradeep Kumar.

The other side
Though no one agreed to come on record, Delhi police maintained that no one was manhandled. A senior police officer also mentioned that various letters have already been sent to the families to vacate their houses and shift to different police colonies but they are not ready for it. Construction of the new police headquarters was cleared by the home ministry and will be carried out according to plan, he said.

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