My appointment was fixed with ACP Jitendra Kumar, the SHO of Palam Vihar Police Station, Gurgaon. As a common perception, I imagined him as an 40 year old, grey haired guy sipping tea in his lavish cabin. However, my imagination was not sharp enough and I was surprised to see a 25 year old person engaged in his responsibilities to make his area a better place for the citizens. Though, he was a bit reluctant in the beginning, he gradually answered all the queries. Here's the excerpts from the interview:
Q: For how long you have been managing Palam Vihar Police Station?
ACP Jitendra Kumar: It's been only 10- 15 days since I have taken over this place. Earlier, I was posted in Rajendra Park Police Station, Gurgaon.
Q: What are the key issues in this area in terms of law and order? What kind of complaints do you get most?
ACP: The major issues which we are facing in this area are vehicle theft and burglary. Though, its been only two weeks for me to come up with any conclusion, this is what I have noticed so far. Our police force is giving their best shot to solve the cases in the vicinity as soon as possible. We keep telling to the citizens on how to tackle vehicle theft and how one can avoid burglary in their homes. This is something which takes time as it's troublesome to track the burglars on a short notice.
Q: If I ask you to compare the crime rate in Palam Vihar to the other areas of Gurgaon, how would you rate it?
ACP: Honestly, I don't want to compare the crime rate of Palam Vihar to other parts of the Gurgaon, as I feel every SHO is doing their bit towards the city to make it a safe and better place for everyone. No one wants any kind of crime to be committed in their neighbourhood, and our law is continuously working to completely eradicate it. We want to convey this message that police personnel are always available at public service.
Q: No/ less streetlights foster crime in the vicinity. How difficult does it become for you to combat this obstacle?
ACP: It is very obvious that if street lights are not in a working condition, it can make any locality unsafe. See street lights are something which does not fall under my job responsibility. The concerned issue is managed by the administration department. They coordinate with the civic agencies and work accordingly and I think the concerned authorities will look into the matter very soon.
Q: Do you complain to the municipal bodies about infrastructural issues like streetlights, etc? How much do they cooperate?
ACP: Issues like road accidents or street lights are not much of a concern here because we do not face the problem of dense fog in winters here. You will witness dense fog in open areas and not in residential localities and if I talk about municipal authorities, then yes, we do complain to them and ask them to come out with a solution at the earliest. Our police personnel coordinate with the civic agencies accordingly and work towards the benefit for the society.
Q: How many police personnel are there in Palam Vihar Police Station?
ACP: The strength of this Police Station is sixty- six in addition to our reserve police force in case of any crisis. We have also three women police personnel. And suppose if we face any issue concerned with women, then we have special Gazetted Officer i.e. G.O. To tackle them. On the top, our 24*7 police helpline is constantly available for the citizens. Now, people are also getting aware of our women and children helplines.
Q: Most of the citizens are scared or not comfortable to register their complaints to police. What's your take on it?
ACP: I strongly believe that police and citizens both need to rub shoulders and that's how it will assist us to make this locality safer for the citizens. They need to lodge their complaints if they want us to help them. People are no longer unfriendly with police. This used to happen a lot in the early 90's, however, scenario has changed for the good. Now, people are also getting aware of our women and children helplines.
Q: One of the most burning topics of Palam Vihar is the wine shop outside Columbia Asia hospital. In past there were citizens demands to get that removed. Where does the issue stands as of today?
ACP: A wine shop outside Columbia Asia hospital is something which is completely out of our territory. Police does not have any sort of role to play in this situation because a wine shop requires a valid permit from the government and secondly, the hospital came up in the vicinity in the presence of wine shop. I won't comment anything further on this.
Q: Who is ACP Jitendar as a common man? What do you do in your regular day? (Family background, hobbies, etc)
ACP: (Laughs......) I seldom have time to catch up with my friends as I am mostly engaged with my work. If I talk about my family background, my father is a retired military officer, my mother is a home-maker and my brother is a property dealer. I make sure, I spend some valuable time with my close ones, though my key motive is to dedicate myself in the service of the community. I will continuously strive for it.