Capital chaos: Delhi government goes missing

‘If people call me an anarchist, then I am an anarchist,’ says CM Kejriwal.

New Delhi | Updated: January 21, 2014 9:58 am

 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with his cabinet colleague Manish Sisodia checking official files at the venue of his dharna demanding action against police personnel, near Rail Bhavan in New Delhi. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with his cabinet colleague Manish Sisodia checking official files at the venue of his dharna demanding action against police personnel, near Rail Bhavan in New Delhi. (PTI)

It began on Monday as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s protest to demand the suspension of four police officers, but soon descended into chaos. 

The Delhi secretariat moved to outside Rail Bhawan, the call for the suspension of the policemen metamorphosed into a demand for control over Delhi Police, and then, even full statehood.

Within a few hours of starting the protest, Kejriwal had proclaimed himself an anarchist and even invited police personnel to join him and demonstrate against the Union home ministry.

By the evening, AAP supporters from across Delhi and even neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were knocking on barricades that denied them entry into the Rail Bhawan traffic island, where Kejriwal and his cabinet sat until late Monday night.

Kejriwal called for the protest against the MHA, which has refused to suspend four police officers who rejected Law Minister Somnath Bharti’s demands to search and arrest foreigners last week, citing the lack of a warrant.

True to his word, Kejriwal, his cabinet and AAP legislators set off for North Block, the office of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. They were, however, stopped by the police from going up Raisina Hill due to prohibitory orders, and were stalled at Rail Bhawan, which became the venue for their sit-in.

Flanked by ministers Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla and Bharti, Kejriwal invited policemen themselves to join the dharna.

“I want to tell all of you that this is your fight as well.

Apply for leave today, and then take off your vardi and join us here tomorrow. Paanch-cheh din chutti le lena. Agar yeh police commissioner zyaada tang karega, toh main dekh loonga (Take leave for 5-6 days. If this police commissioner bothers you too much, I will deal with him). I am prepared to stay here for 10 days until they listen to our demands,” Kejriwal said.

Their demands, however, seemed unclear as they switched from one to the other.

Kejriwal spoke at length on the suspension of the four police officers in connection with three separate incidents of alleged crime in the city.

“Last week, a Danish woman was gangraped. There is one rape after another in this city. The police keeps saying that we are investigating. There needs to be some accountability. Someone has to answer for these crimes. Tell me, should the SHO of the area be suspended or not?

“A girl was burnt alive and Rakhi Birla asked for justice. The SHO did nothing. Should the SHO be suspended or not? There is a sex-and-drugs racket in Malviya Nagar. We demanded that they be caught and the ACP’s and the SHO refused to check. There is no sex racket that happens without the police. People from the Uganda High Commission came to us and told us that we did the right thing. Should all of them be transferred or not?” Kejriwal asked.
However, Kejriwal soon seemed be to criticising Delhi Police as a whole.

“These BJP, Congress and media people should tell me what vigilantism is. I don’t know what it is. If people call me an anarchist, then I am an anarchist. Where can ministers go? Police-walon ne dadagiri macha rakhi hai. They take money from auto drivers, those that sell their wares on the streets. When our mothers and sisters exit their homes, they have no security,” he said.

“We are protesting for the security of our women. If nothing happens, we will teach the Congress such a lesson in the Lok Sabha elections, that they will always remember it,” he said later in the evening.

Less than 200 metres away, at a press conference at Constitution Club, AAP leader Yogendra Yadav changed the issue of the protest – control of the Delhi Police.

“The Delhi CM holding a protest is an unusual event. He has been forced go on a strike on some basic issues. The unfolding of events in the last few days show that the main issue concerns what the aam janta of Delhi feels about the Delhi police – how useless and corrupt the Delhi police is.

“The victims of this attitude of the Delhi Police are the women of Delhi. The AAP had said that it will fight to bring the Delhi Police under the Delhi government. When all three main political parties have been demanding one thing, it is strange that the Delhi CM has to hold demonstrations,” Yadav said.

“The AAP manifesto stated that we would struggle for full statehood for Delhi; bring Delhi Police under Delhi government,” Yadav tweeted in the afternoon.

On Sunday night, Kejriwal had asked supporters to stay away from the protest venue. But he changed his mind after being stopped at Rail Bhawan.

“I asked people to stay away because of Republic Day celebrations and the prohibitions because of it. But last night, I could not sleep at all. My soul was not at peace. Republic Day isn’t just celebrated by parading tableaux. I want everybody to come and join. I am prepared to be here for the next ten days, and if nothing else happens, then it will go on for longer,” Kejriwal said.

As the Delhi Police barricaded the roundabout where Kejriwal and a group of around 500 AAP members sat, much larger groups formed outside the barriers, with frequent skirmishes with the police.

Party leaders Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh were involved in a shouting match with police officials who wouldn’t let them in. Even senior police officers caught the ire of the supporters, with one fight breaking out because volunteers were disallowed from setting up a loudspeaker.

AAP’s Model Town MLA Akhileshpati Tripathi fainted, with supporters claiming that he was attacked.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP and the Delhi Congress, which supports the AAP government from the outside, slammed the Kejriwal-led government and its tactics.

While the BJP accused Kejriwal of treason for asking Delhi Police to shun their duties and join the protest, the Congress blamed him and the Delhi government for spreading lawlessness in the city.

Leader of the opposition Harsh Vardhan also requested the Lieutenant Governor to take cognizance of the the “anarchic” methods of governance by the newly-appointed government.

Vardhan also criticised the AAP government for not “having a human approach” towards women from other countries.

“The Delhi government has reminded us of British rule and the Rowlatt Act being enacted without making any declaration. Under this act, the British used to make their own rules and break them at will and no one could appeal against such acts,” said Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely.

Meanwhile, members of the Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress and other women’s organisations held a massive demonstration in front of the police headquarters demanding the arrest of Law Minister Somnath Bharti.

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  1. A
    Alok Asthana
    Jan 21, 2014 at 3:39 am
    'Delhi govt goes missing' - Indian Express, as many others, have got it completely wrong. If 'governance' means pushing files in a sy office, indeed, govt has gone missing. But if governance means trying to meet what you see as the aspirations of people, no previous government has been 'present'.Since India has never seen such decent conscientious nationalistic leaders, we have been led to believe that the 'Form more important than content' style of content is good. One Congress leader was seen remarking,'They have reduced the dignity of office'. 'Dignity of office' to him obviously meant machine gun toting commandos all around, two Alsatian dogs in the lawn, embroidered Nehru jacket on body and impeccable English from throat.The way Arvind's simple request to do a dharna in his own state has been twisted diabolically, the Congress ( of 1940s ) doing dharnas would have been happy that they had to deal with fair-minded Brits and not the Congress of this time. If even a CM is not allowed to do a dharna to voice dissent, what democracy and freedom of speech are we talking about?Had he not been a decent guy, would Delhi police tried this? Do they ever stop marauding gangs of Jat farmers descending upon Delhi periodically to 'stake their claim'?Alas, the media is unhappy. And they matter since they give voice to the people - or so it seems.Col Alok Asthana ( retd )Thane
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      Alok Asthana
      Jan 21, 2014 at 9:38 am
      All Arvind wanted to do was a peaceful dharna in a state of which he is the CM. See, how cleverly Shinde has turned this into an anarchy by Sec 144 and closing down the Metro.Congress and BJP have to answer - what democracy do they support in which even a CM can not stage a peaceful dharna?Governance is not only pushing files in airconditioned offices, coming from lavish bungalows, in glitzy cars, surrounded by commandos. Sad, indeed.
      Reply
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        Alok Asthana
        Jan 21, 2014 at 11:36 am
        I do not know what to be more suprised at - that you have now discovered that police is corrupt or that you feel that AK is the first person who says so?
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          Alok Asthana
          Jan 21, 2014 at 11:33 am
          Right Sampat. Media has no sense of balance. If they do not display sense, they'll lose credibility like the police.
          Reply
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            Alok Asthana
            Jan 21, 2014 at 11:39 am
            Well said Neil. They have made India's most loved CM look so helpless, so they must pay for it.
            Reply
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              Anand Agarwal
              Jan 21, 2014 at 12:40 am
              I need anarchist , i need robin hood, I dont need governance to with present mode of governance
              Reply
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                Anil Bharali
                Jan 21, 2014 at 12:40 am
                Kejriwal is raising a very very important point that the police hierarchy have no social responsibility as per one police commission's report where that rule was framed by Colonial British Raj.
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                  Anvar Naveed
                  Jan 21, 2014 at 12:24 am
                  Kejriwal, the chief minster of New Delhi, the capital city of the country, is making a laughing stock of himself. World leaders (those who care about India, that is) are laughing at this imbecile making an of himself. I don't mind his being buffoon but he is dragging the dignity of the CM's office, and the country's decorum with him
                  Reply
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                    Ahmed
                    Jan 21, 2014 at 11:22 am
                    Mr. Kejriwal must realise that he is encouraging mobocracy and 'goondaism'. AAP supporters are pelting stones at police and policeman are getting injured. AAP supporters are doing this because they think they can get away with anything in AAP's rule. This mentality was also at full view when Mr. Bharti led a mob of AAP supporters and hared and humiliated innocent foreigners leading to international tensions.Most countries (including USA) have the police force in the Capital under the Central govt for strategic reasons. Let us ume that the control of police is transferred to the State govt. and a certain known corrupt party again comes to power in the state (like the past 15 years) and certain 'honest' party come to power at the center.. Then, the corruption and inefficiency in Delhi police will continue despite it being under state control. Then, will you ask that the control of Delhi police be transferred back to the Central govt?So, the solution to the problem is to replace the corrupt, inefficient Govt. at center with an efficient govt. which cleans up the mess in the Delhi police, rather than transferring its control.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      sb
                      Jan 21, 2014 at 4:31 am
                      AAP alternative politics mirrors disruptionist bandh politics of Bengal - something that destro the state of development, education and progress. Kejriwal's apprentice of this type of anarchist politics must have started in Bengal itself, where he spent quite sometime and must have been influenced by that. Initially, its attractive promising lot of action on ground, but finally it invariably brings disaster, West-Bengal is a clic example. Street type socialism is not democracy. Democracy is not unruly. Democracy is to increase value of systems. The Delhi government has to build up political consensus and p resolution in embly for control of Delhi Police. This has to be debated in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...There can be more innovative and effective ways of building up consensus on additional concrete steps for much better control of law oand order...But not like this, NEVER..these guys just dont know what is governance. After seeing these shades of unruly AAP, feel sorry for Delhites who voted with hopes.
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                        Mera Mera
                        Jan 20, 2014 at 11:38 pm
                        Congress and section is Media is just making excuse to hide the real issue of law and order problem in Delhi. Center doesn't want to give control of Police as that is their important source for easy money.I highly appreciate AAP to take on this nexus of congress and delhi police. It is unfortunate that Delhi is called Rape Capital.AAP rocks and at least they are trying to bring police corruption issue to fore. I know all powerful lobbies (Congress, BJP, Industrialists and some section of media) will try to defame them however Aam aadmi knows how corrup is delhi police and they will support AAP.Jain HInd
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                          M S
                          Jan 21, 2014 at 5:16 am
                          What is the gift of AAP and AK and his coterie of ministers to the country? Anarchy, mis governance and non governance, no law, suffering for the people. Do you still need such people at the helm. Imagine what could happen to the country if these people had to rule India. First AK calls the police corrupt and whatever he wanted to call, then he asks police to remove uniform and join him. Does it mean that the same people when uniform is removed is equivalent to Ganga Mei Dhule Hue.
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                            Bharat
                            Jan 21, 2014 at 12:19 am
                            Am admi is suffering from all corners since government has failed people to get justice in every sphere of life.Few enjoys life while majority of potion is running to meet the daily requirements. Why police is not given under state control. Let one separate police force for VIPs is made functional or Police force is divided in three segments, one under Center for control of riots and major crimes, second for safety of Government buildings and VIPs and third force under local governments for daily law and order..
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                              amar
                              Jan 20, 2014 at 11:59 pm
                              Dramaqueen.Over ambitious. He is the CM of Delhi.He should step upto the plate and deliver.There are lots of things he can do to help delhi now.He should do that instead of sleeping on the street like a moron.There is no way any Govt will give police control to State Govt.That will expose parliament to terrorist attack if an opposition party is in power.If he really wanted to do moral policing , he could have sent his minister to the notorious GB Road in Delhi, which is the dreaded Red light district.I think, he now wants to get away from Delhi and campaign for Lok Sabha Elections.So he is throwing this tantrum.I really feel people should think twice before putting power in the hands of unstable people like this guy.What if he becomes PM tomorrow? Will he go and sleep on the street in Wagah Border protesting against border incidents and asking stan Govt to hand over control of stan army?.This man is unpredictable and will put India to shame.
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                                Muhmammad rasool
                                Jan 21, 2014 at 12:40 am
                                Where is the promised lokpal bill in 15 days?
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                                1. N
                                  Neil
                                  Jan 21, 2014 at 8:34 am
                                  I had been part of Jan Sangh (the time when Diva as symbol) and then BJP supporter from child hood. Now losing a trust in BJP- it appears that it has become a party of hypocrites. Modi seems to be still an intelligent politician. BJP people used to talk about patriotism and freedom and yet can not tolerate freedom for CM that he should be allowed to suspended or transfer corrupt policemen. It is a sort of consutional crises among CM and central Govt. Will you expect a justice or action against police if your own sister in burnt alive but police keeps quite? Someone is fighting for us and we are sitting in front of heater and watching TV or criticizing.. What kind of republic day is that we cannot have police on a side of common people. We had lived life of slavery for centuries and still addicted to it! Center will not bow as they hope to finish AK now and forever! How you can judge if you are intelligent. They may or may not succeed! It depends upon public awareness of 66 years of dirty politics.
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                                  1. N
                                    Neil
                                    Jan 21, 2014 at 7:26 am
                                    It is obvious that police chiefs must have paid money to get transfer at their location and then funnel part of the money to ministers? Someone is fighting for us and we are sitting in front of heater and watching TV or criticizing.. When will we enjoyfreedom? Current is fighting among AAP and congress now....BJP should keep away from giving any negative comments or to take some sort of a political advantage.What kind of republic day is that we cannot have police on a side of common people. Jesi Karni vesi bharni.. We had lived life of slavery for centuries.It is a sort of consutional crises among CM and central Govt. . CM should
have atleast some powers to transfer a police official, especially if there is a crime in that area. As of now, CM is made to act like a puppet under Home Ministry! Will you expect a justice or action against police if your own sister in burnt alive but police keeps quite?
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                                    1. N
                                      Neil
                                      Jan 21, 2014 at 3:41 am
                                      Jesi Karni vesi bharni.. let us come our of slavery! This is fighting among AAP and congress now.... BJP should keep away from giving any negative comments or to take some sort of a political advantage. It is a sort of consutional crises among CM and central Govt. . CM should have atleast some powers to transfer a police official, especially if there is a crime in that area. As of now, CM is made to act like a puppet under Home Ministry! Will you expect a justice or action against police if your own sister in burnt alive but police keeps quite? It is obvious that police chiefs must have paid money to get transfer at their location and then funnel part of the money to ministers?
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                                        prakash
                                        Jan 21, 2014 at 9:06 am
                                        the fight would be ours but i don't think so that this is the proper way to show what we want......AK should have gone through the law process......now betraying him just becoz earlier he said ''i dont use the power even if i have'' the statement just proved wrong as he just said i am Cm and my wish to be anywhere.....
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                                        1. R
                                          rahul
                                          Jan 21, 2014 at 6:20 am
                                          I was fan of him,but now started hating him.please stop creating anarchy, Foreign dignitaries arrived for R-Day, There are many ways available to demand,Stop being a drama queen every time,first full fill the promises made.It is not good to make delhi a full state, Union should always stronger than state.
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                                            Raj Patil
                                            Jan 21, 2014 at 6:03 am
                                            YOU ARE RIGHT MR KEJARIVAL, YOU ARE ANARCHIST. YOU ONLY GET PUBLICITY BY CREATING ANARCHY. THAT IS WHY YOU DON'T WANT TO RULE THE STATE BUT CREATE ANARCHY GAIN MORE PORITY BY KEEPING YOURSELF IN MEDIA AND THEN MOVE TO LS. YOUR AMBITION OF BECOMING PM.YOU COULD HAVE EASILY SOLVED ALL THE ISSUES BY DISCUSSION. BUT YOU WANT COVER UP FOR YOUR MINISTERS. YOU WANTED TO BE JUDGE AND DECLARE THEY ARE NOT GUILTY.
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