The protests on the streets of the capital after the gangrape "rang the bell for everyone to wake up", Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said, attacking the Delhi Police for its insensitive approach that has bred lack of faith in the people towards the force.
She also suggested that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's address to the nation on the December 16 incident could have come a little earlier instead of a week after the "horrendous" crime.
Dikshit acknowledged that people "shy away" from helping others who are in distress because they feel that they will be "harassed" by the police, and asked the force to change its attitude and style of functioning. She felt that the force personnel should behave as "gentleman" police at the need of hour.
"It worries me. Yes. It worries me that police force is not as sensitive or responsive as it ought to be or well behaved as it ought to be… The systems need to be changed and judicial system needs to be changed and bureaucratic system needs to be changed but it has to be thought out. But please remember it is not going to happen tomorrow," she told Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.
"Fault lies with police. I don't know. I have not minced my words (in saying) where the failure of this has come (from). In fact, I have not overtly but covertly criticised this.
"It is not my job to appoint a Police Commissioner or take him away. It is the job of the Home Ministry and I am sure they will do something," she said in reply to a question on who was at fault for the incident.
Dikshit said such mass protests were a challenge to politicians, bureaucracy, judiciary, police and to everybody, while "fully sympathising" with the anger and anguish of the people.
Calling the gangrape of the paramedical student as "horrendous", she said the Supreme Court's observation that women in Delhi are not safe was "telling" and says it all.