Asks Delhi Police, Union Home Ministry to initiate steps
The incident in North-West Delhi in which a person opened fire outside the office of Congress MLA Anil Bharadwaj prompted Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to reiterate in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday the need to provide security for all elected representatives and take up the matter with the Union Home Ministry.
“We must learn a lesson from the incident. The House exhorts the Commissioner of Police and Union Home Ministry to take serious steps. I hope the MLAs will get appropriate security in time to come,” she said in response to a debate in the House over security issues.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar remained present in the officers’ gallery during the debate.
“The Delhi Government was keen to ensure security for the MLAs but it had no jurisdiction to raise its force. In case such incidents continue to take place it will be difficult for MLAs to discharge their duties and serve their electorates,” Ms. Dikshit said, adding that the city government had earlier offered to foot the Bill for deployment of security but it was not accepted by higher authorities.
The firing that took place in front of the Tri Nagar MLA’s office created a furore in the Delhi Assembly with members across party lines strongly condemning the attack leading to three adjournments of the House. The Chief Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary Mukesh Sharma raised the issue as soon as the House convened on Tuesday afternoon and asked for an adjournment. “There is nothing more serious than this. Adjourn the House and the Delhi Police Commissioner should be called,” he said.
MLAs across party lines, including Leader of Opposition Vijay Kumar Malhotra, were on their feet soon after the issue was raised. Ms. Dikshit concurred with their views and said: “My request is that the Police Commissioner be present in the House. Let us not politicise the issue.” However, since Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar was held up in Parliament, the House was accordingly adjourned thrice till he arrived.
Mr. Bharadwaj, narrating the details of the incident, said he was worried that such a brazen act could happen in the middle of the day in a place which is frequented by at least 50 people everyday. “The incident happened this morning in my office in Chanderlok while I was away visiting the temple. My staff told me a man who was drunk came in around 11 a.m. and started threatening everyone with a gun. He later went outside and fired several shots in the air. This man kept wandering outside the office for about 10 minutes. Meantime a Police Control Room van reached the spot and the man was nabbed.”
BJP MLA and party chief whip Sahab Singh Chauhan said Delhi is a mini-India where people come from all over the country. “The Delhi Government should not demoralise the local police. The MLAs need protection.”