By Rajnish Singh
To commit a crime and flee on a vehicle would soon be a tough task for Delhi’s professional criminals with police launching “Operation History-Sheeter”, a first of its kind initiative to curb crime in the city by cancelling the driving licence of toughened criminals.
Police maintain cancelling the driving licence of criminals would bring down their easy movement in the capital and thus lead to a drop in snatchings and robbery.
“My aim to launch Operation History-Sheeter is to halt the easy movement of toughened criminals in the city through the process of cancelling their driving licence,” Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander told IANS.
“The operation is in the initial stage and we are taking the help of the transport authority and local police to make it effective,” he said.
Chander said the traffic police have compiled a list of over 6,000 history-sheeters — an Indian police term for criminals with long record of serious crimes– with the help of local police.
“Now we are planning to send the criminal history details of these history-sheeters to the Delhi transport authority with a request to cancel their driving licences promptly,” Chander told IANS.
“Once the transport department issues notices to these offenders, we will send policemen to ensure that the offenders submit their licences to the officer,” he said.
According to Delhi Traffic Police, there is a provision in section 19 1(a) of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, under which habitual criminals can be disqualified from holding a driving licence, but it is hardly put to use.
“The provision was introduced to deal with habitual criminals so that they cannot easily escape after committing a crime,” a police official said.
Chander said the idea to make use of section 19 1(a) clicked in his mind when a man sent video footage of a chain snatcher on the Traffic Police’s WhatsApp number – 8750871493 — last month.
The vehicle number of the chain snatcher was clearly visible in the footage, based on which the police managed to get his address and he would be arrested soon, said Chander.
As soon as the cancelled driving licence of a criminal is inserted inside the e-challan machine it will show up his criminal history which has already been uploaded in the central computerised police data base.
Police said that there were many instances of snatchers and robbers being caught soon after an alleged crime for violating traffic rules, but they were allowed to go after coughing up the penalty to the traffic police.
As most criminals while fleeing after committing a crime had driving licences to flaunt, the traffic policemen failed to suspect them to be criminals.
“Now, with their licences cancelled, if criminals are stopped, the traffic police will easily catch them for not having the required documents,” said Chander.
“I know that these criminals can use some other way to escape. But this move will really create a big hurdle for them to escape easily after committing a crime,” Chander added. (IANS)