On Saturday morning, as Delhi woke up to the news that two minor girls had been gang-raped in the capital in separate incidents, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal once again attacked the Delhi Police over its failure to protect its citizens.
Kejriwal, who has repeatedly demanded control over Delhi Police, directly addressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in one of his tweets. “PM sir, give control of delhi police to del govt for one year. If situation does not improve, take it back (sic),” tweeted the CM.
Terming the incidents “shameful”, Kejriwal demanded to know what the PM and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung were doing to ensure the safety of Delhi’s citizens. “Repeated rape of minors is shameful and worrying. Delhi police has completely failed to provide safety. What are PM n his LG doing,” he tweeted.
The chief minister said he had sought time from the Prime Minister as well as the Lt Governor to discuss the issue.
Sources in the government said that Jung was likely to meet Police Commissioner B S Bassi and Kejriwal on Sunday.
The chief minister, who visited the two victims in the hospital, told mediapersons that the AAP government was “ready to provide security” to Delhi’s citizens. “The central government is saying they don’t have money to spend on the Delhi Police, which has 16,000 vacancies. Then why are they keeping the police under them? Give us the control of Delhi Police. We have the funds and we are ready to provide security to the citizens,” he said.
The CM also addressed comments made by Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deepak Mishra, saying, “Hope PM n his LG don’t subscribe to it”. Mishra had said, “Can you tell me any part of the world where there is no rape, no murder… I am sad to say that there is not a single place on this planet which is safe from any kind of violence against women…”.
Kejriwal later sought legal advice from experts on policing in the city. Sources said the Delhi government was considering moving the Supreme Court on police accountability. “Under the home ministry, the police in Delhi operates without any oversight. We are considering moving a plea in the SC in this regard,” said a government official.
BJP leader Vijender Gupta, on the other hand, accused Kejriwal of playing ‘shallow politics’ over such crimes and claimed that the ruling AAP had failed to ensure the safety of women.