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Capital compromise: Kejri stir off
Two cops sent on leave after Lt Governor steps in; CM calls it victory of people 
Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi, January 21
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's dharna in the heart of the capital ended late Tuesday evening after two police officers were sent on leave under a neat compromise with the Centre over his demand for suspension of five officials for alleged dereliction of duty.

How it happened

The first indication of a breakthrough came when a senior AAP leader spoke to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over the phone and the contours of an agreement surfaced

Immediately, top AAP leaders met at the nearby Press Club to work out a way to end the stalemate

After the hour-long meeting, Kejriwal returned to the dharna site and addressed his supporters before calling off the protest

He told cheering supporters, who had earlier fought with police, that it was a "victory" for the people of Delhi

The 36-hour protest outside Rail Bhawan in the high-security Raisina Hill ended following an assurance from Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung that the errant officers would be sent on leave. Kejriwal read out from Jung’s letter, which appealed to him to call off the agitation "in view of the sacrosanct occasion of the Republic Day and the perceived security situation". He then announced he was calling off the protest following the "victory" of the people of Delhi.

The sit-in venue was a mere 100 metre away from the route of the Republic Day parade down Rajpath where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the chief guest this year. The route is taken over by the Ministry of Defence for the full-dress rehearsal on January 23.

The Malviya Nagar SHO, who refused to raid an alleged drug and prostitution ring on the orders of Law Minister Somnath Bharti, and PCR van in-charge of Paharganj, where a Danish woman was gangraped last week, were sent on leave, paving the way for an end to the confrontation with the Centre. Team Kejriwal had demanded the suspension of five officers —including one ACP and three SHOs — in connection with these two incidents apart from the burning of a girl allegedly by her in-laws.

Kejriwal and his MLAs squatted outside Rail Bhawan on Monday morning after they were stopped from protesting outside Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s office in North Block. The CM, his ministers and supporters spent the night on the road, and braved heavy rain.

Addressing media persons, Kejrwial said, “This is the first step in making the Delhi Police accountable. It is a victory of the people.”

Facing flak from the media for inconveniencing the ‘aam aadmi’ by sitting in dharna in the heart of the city and not at Jantar Mantar, the designated protest site, Kejriwal said “The inconvenience could have been avoided. We did not tell the Delhi Police to shut Metro stations.” Blaming Shinde for the inconvenience faced by commuters due to traffic jams and closure of Metro Stations, he said it was being done on the orders of the Home Minister. “It has all been done on the orders of the Home Minister. So, who is responsible for the people’s woes?” Kejriwal said.

Earlier in the day, the police cracked down on protesters who broke police barricades on Rafi Marg close to the dharna site. Kejriwal condemned the lathicharge saying it was unnecessary. “We condemn the lathi-charge by the Delhi Police in which two policemen and few of our supporters have been injured.” Kejriwal called out to AAP supporters to join him and threatened to fill the streets with lakhs of people and also Rajpath, the venue of the Republic Day parade.

The BJP reacted sharply to Kejriwal. Prakash Javadekar termed the AAP as a ‘firewall’ of the Congress to stall Narendra Modi and the BJP. 






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