Mr. Arvind Kejriwal to sit on dharna if cops not suspended
New Delhi – Delhiites may witness an unprecedented sight on Monday, of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal sitting on a dharna outside North Block with his ministers to demand the suspension of four police officers, who allegedly did not perform their duties.
The chief minister on Friday set Delhi Police a January 20 deadline for taking action; his minister Manish Sisodia warned, “this government will fix the police”.
AAP’s ministers Somnath Bharti and Rakhi Birla faced off with Delhi Police personnel earlier this week, in two cases. While Bharti went on a midnight raid and rebuked cops for not acting against an alleged drug and sex racket run by foreigners, Birla had asked them to arrest a woman’s in-laws for allegedly burning her.
On Friday, the AAP government upped the ante by making a formal representation, first with lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung and later with home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, demanding immediate suspension of the police officers.
“In case the ministry of home affairs does not suspend the following police officers by Monday morning 10am (January 20), he (chief minister) will be forced to sit on a dharna along with his cabinet colleagues and MLAs on Monday from 11am outside North Block,” said a statement issued by the chief minister’s office.
Kejriwal has also appealed to Delhiites to join him in the protest.
Earlier in the day, the LG ordered an inquiry headed by a retired judge into the two incidents where the ministers alleged non-cooperation by police.
In his letter to Shinde, Kejriwal demanded transfer of policing, excluding NDMC and Delhi Cantonment areas, to the Delhi government.
“The control of Delhi police should immediately be transferred to Delhi government without any delay … it is the government of Delhi which has been voted to power by the people to run the state government. If any crime takes place in Delhi, people question the Delhi government rather than questioning the home minister,” said the letter submitted by Kejriwal.
The letter further states that it is because of the “completely unaccountable conduct” of Delhi Police officials that the city is witnessing a spate in crime and rapes in particular. “Why only Delhi is witnessing high number of rapes? Every time the argument given is that the entire society has become morally and psychologically corrupt. But that may not be a correct argument… The conduct of Delhi police has become a law unto itself. Can the entire city and its people remain mute spectators?”
While clearly listing the demand for suspension of the four officials — SHO Sagarpur, SHO Malviya Nagar, ACP Harpal Singh, ACP Jakhar (whose has jurisdiction over Malviya Nagar Police Station) — who had a run-in with his ministers, Kejriwal also made his own observations on seeking suspension of the SHO of the police station with jurisdiction of the area where the Danish tourist was raped on Tuesday. “This would send a clear message that their unaccountable behaviour would not be tolerated,” the CM said.
Addressing reporters after the LG meeting, education and urban development minister Manish Sisodia said, “This is not the Sheila Dikshit government, which would excuse itself by saying that police is under central government. If the police does not change its ways, this government will fix the police”.