Speaking more like an activist he was, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday called the Delhi Police “highly compromised” and demanded the suspension of four officers for allegedly refusing to act against sex and drug gangs and the burning of a woman.
“We are demanding … we are warning Delhi Police,” Kejriwal told the media, using unusually harsh language for a chief minister. “Delhi Police is highly compromised.”
He demanded the suspension of the station house officers (SHO) of Sagarpur and Malviya Nagar police stations and two assistant commissioners of police.
As Delhi is not a full-fledged state, Delhi Police does not report to the city government. It is controlled by the union home ministry.
The Sagarpur SHO, he said, did not arrest members of a family who allegedly set their daughter-in-law on fire. The woman reportedly suffered 45 percent burns.
Kejriwal accused the SHO of Malviya Nagar of complicity with a bunch of foreigners — said to be Africans — in south Delhi, allegedly involved in prostitution and drugs.
“People are not going to be mute spectators to what is going on,” he said.
Kejriwal, who took power Dec 28 after being an activist for years, did not say what he planned to do vis-a-vis Delhi Police. To repeated queries, he simply said: “Dekte rahiye.”
Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi reacted cautiously, telling journalists that he would not react to statements by the chief minister he had not heard himself.
But refuting Kejriwal’s allegation, Bassi insisted that Delhi was safe in the hands of Delhi Police. “There is no war between Kejriwal and me.”
The chief minister’s outburst followed allegations by two of his ministers that Delhi Police failed to act against people involved in crime despite their pleading.
Law Minister Somnath Bharti accused police in Malviya Nagar area in south Delhi of virtual complicity vis-a-vis a gang involved in sex and drugs.
Bharti detailed how he had virtually trapped some members of a prostitution ring in his constituency overnight and how police, according to him, failed to take action against the foreign sex workers.
Women and Child Minister Rakhi Birla said police had refused to arrest members of a family which allegedly set on fire their daughter-in-law even days after the incident.
The chief minister denied that his ministers were interfering in the work of police, saying it was the duty of the ministers to speak and act if they witnessed crime.
“Delhi has security not because of Delhi Police but despite Delhi Police,” he said, demanding to know why there were so many incidents of rape in the national capital compared to other parts of India.
The comment followed the gang rape of a Danish woman in Delhi. The woman was assaulted near the New Delhi railway station.