CM to protest against home ministry

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday sounded determined to go ahead with his protest the next day against the home ministry to demand action against “lax” Delhi Police personnel.

In a barrage of tweets, the chief minister gave details of his plan for Monday and seemed mindful of the prohibitory orders issued in New Delhi district by police ahead of the Republic Day. The orders restrict the gathering of more than five people.

“I alongwid all ministers and MLAs, will sit on dharna outside home min office for the sake of women security,” tweeted Kejriwal.

“In view of republic day preps, i urge supporters and public not to come for dharna. Only MLAs will sit. No one else shud come pl,” he said in another tweet.

The prohibitory orders imposed during the day temporarily put a question mark on the proposed protest.

It was still not clear till late Sunday evening if the chief minister and over two dozen legislators of the party would be breaking the law by attempting to violate the prohibitory orders that impose restriction on assembly of five or more people.

A police officer said, “If AAP leaders try to enter New Delhi district in a group, they might be detained at the district’s border.”

Initially, the decision to impose the prohibitory orders appeared to unsettle the AAP’s plan for the protest.

AAP media coordinator Dipak Vajpayee earlier said the chief minister might take a decision on Monday morning after seeing if his demand for action against the four policemen was accepted by the home ministry.

This, however, was followed by a flood of tweets from Kejriwal, clearing the air on his plan to go ahead with the protest.

The party seemed to be tactically highlighting the reason for the protest to be the Danish woman’s rape on Tuesday and the alleged police laxity and failure to prevent the incident.
The other reason for the protest – seeking the suspension of policemen who did not allegedly cooperate with two AAP ministers during their midnight “raids” on Thursday – was not played up as much by AAP leaders on the eve of the proposed protest.

Kejriwal himself chose to give the rape incident more importance. In a tweet, he said, “I alongwid all ministers and MLAs, will sit on dharna outside home min office for the sake of women security.”

“I met delhi police commissioner, home minister and LG and demanded that the police officials shud be suspended or at least transferred,” said another tweet.

Kejriwal earlier said Bharti’s move to ask police to raid the house in south Delhi to uncover suspected prostitution and drugs racket should be appreciated as no other government has worked in such a manner to curb “ill activities” in the capital.

"Somnath did not do anything wrong and didn’t pass any racist comment on the Ugandan women,” Kejriwal told a TV channel in an interview.

His other cabinet colleague, Rakhi Birla, and her supporters raided a house in west Delhi seeking police action in a case of burning of a woman by her in-laws.

On Friday, Kejriwal and his two ministers who conducted “raids” on Thursday – Rakhi Birla and Somnath Bharti – met Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung at his residence.

Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi and Special Commissioner (Law and Order) Deepak Mishra were also present at the meeting along with the four police officials who are under fire from the ministers of Aam Aadmi Party government for alleged laxity.  

Jung did not accept the government’s demand for immediate suspension of the policemen and set up a committee under a retired judge for probing the cases of alleged lapses by the men in khaki.

Metro closed

In view of the protest, police have issued an advise that Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan and Race Course Metro stations will remain closed from 9 am to 1 pm on Monday. But the interchange facility will continue at Central Secretariat station, a DMRC spokesperson.

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