Protesters use abusive language: Cops

Delhi Police’s efforts to restore law and order in the high-security zone in central Delhi on Monday were hit by “misbehavior by the protestors”.

Given the fact that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal retracted from his earlier stand and called the public to join him in the protest on Monday, the number of police personnel deployed in the high-security zone had to be increased.

In morning, some 1,200 Delhi Police personnel with the Rapid Action Force were deployed. After Kejriwal asked the public to join him, the number had to be increased to 2,000 by afternoon. By evening, 3,000 personnel had to be stationed.

Apart from the protesters, police also had to deal with “false allegations and abusive and vulgar languages by protestors.” SBS Tyagi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi district), told Deccan Herald that the protestors were also trying to break the barricades at some places in the area in which Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed ahead of the CM’s dharna.

“Some protestors are saying policemen are misbehaving with the women there. These are false allegations by them. We have deployed sufficient women personnel in the area and the media has been watching our every move since morning,” said Tyagi.

He said policing at night will be difficult if Kejriwal and his supporters stay there overnight. “They could cause more problems at night. It is a VIP area, has important buildings, including Parliament House, which has been attacked in the past,” he said.

Police declined to reveal their plan and strategy on how they would deal with the protesters at night. Mukesh Kumar Meena, Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range) said police will take a decision based on the situation at night.

“We will take every action within the law to restore order. No one will be allowed to break barricades here,” he said.

Some AAP leaders, including former journalist Ashutosh, were repeatedly seen shouting at police aggressively. Allegations by protesters that some of their leaders were detained were met by police officers confirming with their seniors. Contradicting the claims, Meena officially said later that none of the AAP leaders were detained.

Minor clashes between protesters and policemen also marked the protest as cops threw a cordon around the site of the protest.

The protest has also led to worries that the Republic Day parade preparations could be hampered, but police have said they would allow no such disruption. “January 26 preparations include this area too. We will not allow any disruption of the preparations,” said Meena.

Republic Day preparations demand heavy security due to the large number of dignitaries attending the function. The protest site is only a few metres away from the thoroughfare used for January 26 parade.

“If the protest does continue for 10 days (as declared by Kejriwal), we will have to come up with major changes in the existing plan to be able to conduct the Republic Day parade,” said a senior police officer.

The protest caused injury to five police personnel, of which two have been admitted in Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

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