Kejriwal defies ban, protests against cops

Calls himself anarchist; says Shinde, top cop corrupt

Kejriwal defies ban, protests against cops

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday showed shades of a street fighter as he defied prohibitory orders to launch a 10-day protest against the Delhi Police near Rail Bhawan, close to Parliament.

He also said, “I am an anarchist,” and called Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and city police chief B S Bassi corrupt. Kejriwal, accompanied by his six Cabinet ministers, staged a protest in a park from noon till late in the evening. The protest posed a huge challenge to the police in the middle of Republic Day preparations, which demand top security details as a large number of dignitaries attend the event.

Amid slogans of “inquilab zindabad” by his supporters, Kejriwal signed several official papers and files at the site of his sit-in protest.

According to Delhi government sources, three to four cartons of files were taken to the dharna site from the Delhi Secretariat to avert hampering of government functioning.

According to officials, a cabinet meeting is scheduled for Tuesday and there are possibilities that it will be held at the dharna site.

In that case, the chief secretary, along with other senior officials, will go to the dharna site to attend the meeting.

“Yes, I am an anarchist and will remain one as long as there are attacks on women and people continue to suffer due to inflation,” Kejriwal said. “If there is any chaos on Republic Day, the Centre will have to be blamed.”

Over 3,000 policemen and Rapid Action Force personnel kept an eye on the protesters.
At one stage, Kejriwal said Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj was detained. He also tweeted: “Akilesh Tripathi, an MLA, beaten up brutally by police. Why?” Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range) Mukesh Meena, however, denied Kejriwal’s claims. But, Bhardwaj confirmed his detention.

Kejriwal protest was against four policemen who allegedly did not cooperate with Law Minister Somnath Bharti in a raid against a suspected prostitution and drugs racket involving foreigners in south Delhi last week.

Kejriwal earlier said he wanted Shinde to suspend or transfer the four “lax” policemen, but the home minister refused. “Delhi policemen extort money from street vendors, auto drivers and send it to the police commissioner and Shinde,” he alleged. He defended Bharti and said, “A woman from the Uganda High Commission has written to me to appreciate our government’s efforts.”

The chief minister said his government would not cooperate with a judicial inquiry ordered by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

Kejriwal also urged upright policemen to join the stir. “You must take leave from work for five days and give up the khaki. If the police chief victimises you, I will take care of it,” he said.

AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said Kejriwal’s agitation was aimed at fulfilling the party’s election promise of bringing the Delhi Police under the Delhi government.

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