900 traffic cops now armed

Days of unarmed traffic police personnel in Delhi seem to be over now. About 900 traffic policemen have been given arms over the past week.

On January 4, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi had told the media that 1,000 traffic policemen will be armed with pistols in Delhi.

“We have planned to provide pistols to 1,000 traffic policemen. These officers will be handling the arms within next few months,” Bassi had said at the Delhi Police's annual press conference.

Just after two days of the Commissioner’s statement, the programme to give small arms to traffic police personnel of the rank of head constable and above started with one-day mandatory arms practice for them.

“The one-day training of all the traffic-police officials above the rank of constable started on January 6. The training starts with dry-firing, and then they have to fire rounds on a target and achieve above average score specified for them,” said Romil Bannia, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic/ Headquarters).

“The training also involves locking and anti-locking of the pistols, and after completing their training, the officials are given small arms comprising pistols and revolvers,” he added.

Module busted
The idea of armed traffic policemen came up after a string of terror-related modules were busted by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell in and outside Delhi.

“The idea was always there but Pathankot terror attack, and the subsequent intelligence inputs about the possibility of terrorists entering the national capital, speeded up the programme. Besides that, Republic Day is coming up, which heightens the threat perception of an attack in the city,” said Sharad Aggarwal, Joint Commssioner of Police (Traffic).

Already, 890 to 900 traffic police personnel have been provided with weapons.
The target is to arm all traffic police staff of the rank of head constable and above, totalling about 1,000, by Friday.

With a road length of around 30,000 km, the city is manned by about 5,500 traffic policemen comprising mostly of the rank of constable.

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