Delhi civil defence volunteer held for posing as cop, prosecuting Covid violators

A 31-year-old civil defence volunteer has been arrested from South Delhi’s Sangam Vihar area for allegedly impersonating a Delhi Police sub-inspector and prosecuting people for Covid violations.

Last week, The Indian Express had reported that Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava wants the uniform of civil defence volunteers changed so that people don’t confuse them with police personnel, and is learnt to have decided to write a letter to the Home Secretary in this regard.

DCP (south district) Atul Kumar Thakur said, “We have arrested the accused, identified as Suneel Kumar, when he was checking public for mask violations after posing as a sub-inspector of Delhi Police. The arrest was made when he was checking and our constable, Amit, reached the spot. He smelt something amiss and asked Suneel to show his i-card. He was carrying a fake i-card of Delhi Police and the matter was informed to seniors.”

Thakur said the accused was also carrying his aadhar card, disaster management duty pass and civil defence i-card. An FIR has been registered against him at Tigri police station.

Shrivastava had earlier directed all 15 DCPs to ensure that civil defence volunteers don’t use police barricades to stop and prosecute violators of Covid norms. He also asked them to ensure that people do not confuse civil defence volunteers with police personnel, and a clear distinction be made between them.

Sources said the police chief recently asked a Special CP (Crime) to monitor any cases filed against civil defence volunteers. “There is discomfort over some volunteers misusing the uniform, clicking photos of women and children before issuing a challan, and in some cases trying to take bribes,” said a source.

The top cop’s directive to DCPs had come after reports of volunteers issuing challans for Covid violations though they are not empowered to do so without sanction from the relevant authority. “It was conveyed that if civil defence volunteers are found issuing challans without appropriate authority, the district DCPs should write to the authority concerned in this regard,” a senior police officer said.

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