Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, severely criticised for his silence on the gang-rape of a Danish woman in Delhi, today put the blame squarely on the Delhi Police, accusing it of being “a highly compromised force.” (Highlights)
In his attempt to elucidate, he also made a controversial statement saying, “if you don’t arrest drug and sex offenders…this is where tendencies of rape begin.”
Mr Kejriwal was giving context to his accusation against the city’s police force by pointing to two incidents last night when his ministers had altercations with cops who, he said, had refused to act against alleged criminals. He said this demonstrated “how policemen are operating.”
“Why are rapes happening in Delhi?…If crime does not happen in Delhi, it is not because of the Dehli Police, but inspite of it,” the CM said.
His ministers have been accused of interfering with police work. Mr Kejriwal fielded both of them – Law minister Somnath Bharti, who has said that his attempt to carry out a surprise raid on what he alleged was a drug and prostitution ring ended in an unseemly roadside argument with Delhi Police cops, who refused to act. And Rakhi Birla, AAP’s youngest minister who looks after women’s affairs and who has accused policemen of shielding people who had allegedly attempted a murder for dowry.
The Chief Minister warned that action must be taken against the cops responsible and said he would meet the Lieutenant Governor, who has charge of the Delhi Police, and Police Commissioner BS Bassi, tomorrow.
Mr Kejriwal was among the most vociferous critics of his predecessor Sheila Dikshit for her Congress government’s failure to ensure the safety of women in the Capital after the brutal gang-rape of a medical student on a moving bus in December 2012. They were particularly acerbic when she pointed out that the Delhi Police does not report to the state government.
The Congress, which props up Mr Kejriwal’s minority government now, has reminded Mr Kejriwal of that. “They didn’t wait for a day before protesting during the December 16th gang-rape. Is this the same party that accused Sheila of making excuses?” said Delhi Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely.
He also said it was a “worrying sign that the CM has not acted on the gang-rape of the Danish national.”