M A I N   N E W S

Kejriwal fights Centre on streets
Wants cops suspended for not acting against ‘drug ring’
Shinde turns down demand

Tribune News Service

Delhi drama
Arvind Kejriwal clears official files from sit-in site; says governance won’t suffer
AAP supporters and policemen clash after cops disconnect CM’s audio system
Kejriwal, his ministers to spend night at protest venue
Congress hints at use of force to shift Team Kejriwal to Jantar Mantar
Leave of all Delhi Police personnel cancelled
Secretariat and Udhyog Bhavan Metro stations shut on Tuesday from 6 am to 10 am
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde says Delhi Police can’t be brought under Delhi Government; meets PM

Cong not happy
The government cannot sit on the road just to demand suspension of three officers compromising on the welfare of crores of people who elected them.
Arvinder Singh Lovely, delhi congress chief

New Delhi, January 20
The bitter standoff between the Delhi Government and the police over the suspension of five police officers on Monday led to an unprecedented situation when Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues began an indefinite sit-in outside Rail Bhawan near Parliament.

The Union Home Ministry and the city police chief have refused to suspend an Assistant Commissioner of Police and three Station House Officers against whom Delhi ministers Somnath Bharti and Rakhi Birla had complained of inaction in an alleged drug and prostitution racket in South Delhi.

The Chief Ministers and his Cabinet sat in protest near Rail Bhawan after authorities imposed restrictions near the Home Ministry’s North Block office at Raisina Hill to prevent a dharna there, as the Aam Aadmi Party had planned.

On Kejriwal’s call to join the protest, AAP supporters began pouring in. By noon, the police forced a lockdown in the heart of Lutyens Delhi that houses Central ministries and is a stone’s throw from Rajpath where preparations for the Republic Day parade are on.

While Delhi Metro operations were suspended at four stations from 9 am to 1 pm to prevent AAP supporters from reaching the protest site, the police put up barricades to block vehicular traffic leading to Raisina Road, the protest venue. Traffic snarls continued till late evening and people were seen walking back from work at the end of the day.

The Delhi Police deployed about 1,200 personnel along with the Rapid Action Force. By evening, the Sashastra Seema Bal, a central police force, was also deployed at the protest site.

Since the protest venue falls under an area meant for Republic Day celebrations, the police said they will ensure no disruptions on January 26. “This area (protest site) is a high-security zone. We will take steps to ensure law and order,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range) Mukesh Kumar Meena.

Justifying his action, Kejriwal said: “I can’t keep quiet when the people of Delhi are unsafe. We have come prepared to sit for 10 days.” The AAP government wants Delhi Police brought under the control of the Delhi Government so that it can be held accountable for its “failure” to carry out duty.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde ruled out Delhi Police coming under the purview of the Delhi Government. The Centre also ruled out action against the policemen till completion of a formal inquiry into two separate incidents in which both Birla and Bharti alleged police officers did not act despite their directions.

“The Chief Minister should maintain the dignity of his office. A high-level inquiry has been ordered. He should wait till it is over,” Shinde said.

The Delhi Congress that supports the AAP government likened the dharna to the British rule’s Rowlatt Act-like situation to spread lawlessness in the city. “There is a difference between a government and NGO activists,” Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said.

The Opposition BJP termed Kejriwal’s protest “anarchic”. Calling Kejriwal ‘Mr U-turn’, Delhi BJP leader Harsh Vardhan slammed AAP for staging a “political drama”.

“The party condemns AAP for causing hardship to thousands of Delhiites by blocking Central Delhi,’ said Vardhan.





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