Mr. Kejriwal meets Lieutenant Governor to complain about Delhi Police
New Delhi – Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is meeting Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Police Commissioner BS Bassi.
Severely criticised by both the Congress and the BJP for his government’s inadequate response to the shocking gang-rape of a Danish woman in the heart of Delhi this week, Mr Kejriwal has squarely blamed the Delhi Police.
An angry Chief Minister had yesterday accused the city’s police of being “a highly compromised force”. Today, he is expected to follow up on a “warning” he issued that action must be taken against policemen who, he said, had refused to act against alleged criminals at the instance of two of his ministers, who had public altercations with the cops.
He also made a controversial statement saying, “if you don’t arrest drug and sex offenders… this is where tendencies of rape begin.”
“Why are rapes happening in Delhi? If crime does not happen in Delhi, it is not because of the Delhi Police, but inspite of it,” Mr Kejriwal said at his press conference yesterday, where Law Minister Somnath Bharti explained that his attempt to carry out a surprise raid on what he alleged was a drug and prostitution ring had ended in an argument with cops, as they refused to act.
Rakhi Birla, AAP’s youngest minister who looks after women’s affairs, was there too and accused policemen of shielding people who had allegedly attempted a murder for dowry.
Delhi Police Commissioner Mr Bassi later said, “The Delhi Police is capable of protecting people in the city.” Sources said the top cop could complain today that the ministers had interfered in police work.
Delhi Police reports not to the state government but to the Lieutenant Governor. Mr Kejriwal was among his predecessor Sheila Dikshit’s most vocal critics for pointing to that fact when her Congress government was assailed for failing to ensure the safety of women in the Capital after the brutal gang-rape of a medical student on a moving bus in December 2012.
The Congress, which props up Mr Kejriwal’s minority government now, reminded him of that. “They didn’t wait for a day before protesting during the December16 gang-rape. Is this the same party that accused Sheila of making excuses?” Delhi Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely said yesterday. (Read: Is this the same government that attacked Sheila Dikshit, asks Congress)
He also said it was a “worrying sign that the CM has not acted on the gang-rape of the Danish national.”