When Law Minister Somnath Bharti harangued the Delhi Police, trying to force a raid and arrest of those involved in a suspected drug and prostitution racket, ACP B S Jakhar kept calm.
Around 2 am on Thursday, the ACP was locked in a heated debate with the minister in the middle of the road for over 20 minutes. Jakhar kept explaining that the minister’s demand was against the law and that such action never hold up in court, but the minister refused to listen.
Speaking to Newsline, Jakhar said he tried to reason with Bharti that police will be hauled up by the court if they make arrests in such an irresponsible manner. But the minister was adamant that a raid be conducted and arrests made, he said.
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Jakhar said, “The minister told me that the women inside are part of a drug racket and that we should conduct a raid in all houses in the area. I told him that the law does not permit us to barge into someone’s house, so late in the night, without a search warrant. I then told him that he should let us search the vehicle first. If we find any drugs inside the vehicle, then it will give us a reason to search the houses, as the recovered drugs can be used as evidence, but the minister blatantly refused.”
The ACP said AAP workers with Bharti started to argue with the policemen that if they won’t do their job, then the AAP workers would do it.
“I told the minister that I have great respect for him, but they should not cross the limit as what his partymen were saying was against the law,” Jakhar said.
The ACP said he asked the minister to give the orders for a raid in writing. “He agreed at first, but later when officials got him a paper to write, he refused, saying ‘I am the law minister. I am giving orders, why should I give it in writing’,” he said.
Sources said police later carried out a search of the vehicle, but no drugs were found.
Elsewhere in the city, Women and Child Development Minister Rakhi Birla was also railing against police, this time, in connection with a dowry harassment case.
A woman was allegedly set ablaze by her in-laws on January 13. The minister, who reached the Sagarpur police station in Southwest Delhi by 9.30 pm on Wednesday, wanted the SHO to take strict action against the suspects (in-laws).
Speaking to Newsline, Additional DCP D K Gupta said Birla wanted to inspect the crime scene. The minister was informed that the SHO was on night patrol and the additional SHO would help her. “The additional SHO assured her that the father-in-law of the victim was arrested the same day the victim filed a complaint. There was no delay,” Gupta said.
He said police explained to Birla that adequate action has been taken in the case, but she wanted to visit the victim’s house. “The minister proceeded to the victim’s house and the additional SHO said he would follow her. In the meantime, the SHO also reached the victim’s house. There, they found the house locked as the family members were on the run since the arrest of the father-in-law,” he said.
Birla reportedly asked police to break into the house. Police broke into the house by 1.30 am, only to find it empty.