The showdown between the Aam Aadmi Party Government and the Delhi Police reached the doorsteps of the Union Home Minister on Friday, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal meeting Sushilkumar Shinde to demand State government control over the police.
Mr. Kejriwal, along with his Cabinet colleagues, requested Mr. Shinde to suspend five police officials for alleged non-cooperation and lapses in duty after Delhi Police Commissioner B. S. Bassi rejected the demand for action against the cops.
The demand comes even as Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung ordered a high-level inquiry by a retired judge into the cases raised by Mr. Kejriwal.
“We have demanded that the Home Minister bring the Delhi Police under the control of the Delhi Government. We also suggested that if the Centre wants to keep control of policing in the New Delhi area, it can continue to keep control of the Delhi Police in the New Delhi Municipal Council area, while it can transfer the responsibility of law and order in the rest of Delhi to the Delhi Government,” PWD Minister Manish Sisodia said.
“We also asked him to suspend police officials who did not perform their duty in the three cases [gang-rape case, Malviya Nagar drug racket case and the Sagarpur incident wherein a woman was allegedly burnt by her in-laws]. The L-G inquiry could go on side by side, but the cops need to be suspended,” said Mr. Sisodia.
Mr. Sisodia said: “He [Shinde] assured us that he would get back after taking action in one or two days.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues Rakhi Birla, Somnath Bharti and Mr. Sisodia met the L-G at his residence, where Commissioner B.S. Bassi and Special Commissioner (Law and Order) Deepak Mishra were also present.
At the meeting, which lasted for about an hour, Mr. Kejriwal and the Ministers raised the issue of women’s safety in the Capital.
After meeting with the L-G, Mr. Sisodia said: “This government won’t make any excuses like the Delhi Police is not under us. They will have to do their duty. Police has to act. We will fix the police even if it doesn’t come under us”.