Thursday, July 16, 2009

Delhi to be Cleared of Beggars

20 additional police personnel for anti-begging operations is under consideration and 10 cops appointed to tackle 60,000 beggars(Is it a joke, How Could they?)

The hard days are days for beggars in the city, whom you can see outside every temple or gurudwara across the city, because government has taken the decision to kick them out, keeping in mind to show a clean face of the city during 2010 CWG.

Eager to present a ‘clean face’ of the national capital during the Commonwealth Games next year, the Delhi government is arming itself with 13 vans and 10 cops to clear the city of its estimated 60,000 beggars.

The city government told the Supreme Court on Thursday that it was geared to tackle the problem. In an affidavit before a bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari, the government said two of the vans had been modified to function as mobile courts to try the beggars caught during anti-begging operations.

But how does the government intend to tackle thousands of beggars, one-third of whom are children, with such little police force? And, what kind of living conditions awaits these people after they are ‘caught’?

The government thinks it has the right answers. On the allegations of petitioner Karnika Sawhney that its beggar homes lack basic facilities and space to accommodate the huge number, the state said: ‘‘Adequate arrangement for boarding, lodging, food, clothing and medical care, as per the norms, are in place in all the beggar homes and institutions.’’

On the inadequacy of the police force in tackling the numbers, the government said: ‘‘The proposal to create posts of 20 additional police personnel for anti-begging operations is under consideration. However, in the meantime, 10 police personnel have been deployed by the Delhi Police for assisting the mobile courts in anti-begging operations.’’

The bench accepted the Delhi government’s affidavit but asked petitioner’s counsel Indra Sawhney to verify the facilities claimed to have been provided by the state at beggar homes and report back to the court by August 10.

It also said that two judicial officers, T S Mutti and Mahendra Kumar Gupta have been appointed as special metropolitan magistrates for the mobile courts to try cases under provisions of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959. More than four months ago, the state government had taken a stand before the Delhi HC that it was readying a new law to replace the 50-year-old Bombay Act.