Despite the Delhi Police clamping prohibitory orders around the high-security North Block here banning “unlawful assembly”, the Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday said it will go ahead with its scheduled protest outside the Union Home Minister’s office on Monday to press its demand for action against some “erring policemen”.
On Sunday, the Home Ministry sought a report from the Delhi Police onthree recent incidents over which the force has come face to face with the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in the past couple of days.
In his tweet posted late in the evening, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the public and supporters not to come for the dharna keeping in view the ongoing preparations for the Republic Day celebrations.
“In view of republic day preps, i urge supporters and public not to come for dharna. Only MLAs will sit. No one else shud come pl,” the message read.
The spat -- which began with the AAP blaming the police for failing to prevent the rape of a Danish tourist in the heart of the Capital last week – snowballed into a major controversy with Law Minister Somnath Bharti’s purported attempt to force a raid on a suspected drug and prostitution racket in Khirki Extension and Women and Child Welfare Minister Rakhi Birla’s allegations that the police mishandled a dowry harassment case in Sagarpur.
For his part, the Chief Minister threw his weight behind the Ministers and demanded action against the policemen concerned -- three Station House Officers and two Assistant Commissioners of Police -- during his meeting with the Delhi Police Commissioner this past week.
Following the police’s refusal, Mr. Kejriwal met Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung reiterating the demand and had set Monday as the deadline.
Reacting sharply to the imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code on Sunday afternoon, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said his party was fighting for the people and would continue with its protest. “Let the police do their duty,” he added.
Taking a dig at the AAP’s protest, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday said: “The Chief Minister of Delhi along with his party members has decided to sit in protest outside the Home Minister’s office. They are demanding suspension of three policemen who according to them did not perform their duty. It is obvious that the AAP is more comfortable doing a dharna than sitting in the Sachivalaya. The past three weeks have shown that in the Sachivalya the party gets into a self-destructive mode.”
“The party’s Law Minister has created a serious problem with Africans staying in Delhi. His approach appears to be a racist one. The party within days has become victim of its own unconventional style. Mobs can’t take decisions….today the party‘s performance in government is becoming embarrassing by the day. Is the planned dharna for one day a ploy to fracture its non-transparent arrangement with the Congress? Is the AAP looking for a way out of the government and get back to the streets? ” he asked.