In a step unprecedented in governance, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while announcing an anti-corruption helpline on Wednesday, said each citizen armed with a phone could “use audio or video to perform a sting” to entrap corrupt officials.
Today the people of Delhi will have to cooperate with us to abolish corruption. Each citizen of Delhi will be an anti-corruption inspector. Your phone will be your biggest weapon. You don’t need a lathi or any object to protest against corruption. Do the sting there and then, and let our anti-corruption department know. We will lay a trap and arrest them. You can use audio or video to perform a sting,” said Arvind Kejriwal.
Elaborating on the anti-corruption helpline, 011-27357169, he said the caller’s name, contact number and complaint would be recorded, and an “advisor” would call back and train the complainant to perform a sting operation. After doing the sting, the person would have to call the helpline again. “Our anti-corruption department will call the complainant within 24 hours of his call. It will lay a trap and arrest the guilty,” said Arvind Kejriwal.
The helpline, in operation from 8 am to 10 pm, will be regulated by a call centre. The number may later be replaced by a four-digit number. “Har rishwat lene wale ke dil me khauf paida karenge aur aam aadmi ko anti-corruption crusader bana denge (It will instill fear in the corrupt, and make every common man an anti-corruption crusader),” said Kejriwal, flanked by ministers Somnath Bharti and Manish Sisodia.
Arvind Kejriwal said the government would try to protect the complainants. Asked what the government would do in cases involving the Delhi Police, he said, “We will treat them the same way we treat every other case of corruption.”
Recalling his speech during his swearing-in ceremony, Arvind Kejriwal said, “I told people that if anyone demands money from them, do not refuse. Instead, do a ‘setting’. We promised to give people a phone number within two days where complaints can be lodged. But due to the poor state of the state vigilance department, it was delayed.”
Stating that “the Lieutenant-Governor has assured that we will get teams from Delhi Police on stand-by if we face a staff crunch”, he said, “I assure you that we have set up enough teams to deal with the stings.”
N Dilip Kumar, retired special commissioner, Delhi Police, has been appointed as advisor for the helpline.