New Delhi Chief Stages 10-Day Street Protest Urging Police Reform

Arvind Kejriwal slept on the pavement on Monday night as part of a ten-day protest to demand police reform that is quickly losing public support

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Tsering Topgyal / AP Photo

Policemen cordon off an area of sit-in protest as a supporter of New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal walks by, during a demonstration against the police in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.

Freshly elected New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slept on the pavement on Monday night as part of a ten-day protest to demand police reform following a spat between his law minister and the Indian capital’s police force.

On Friday, the state’s Law Minister Somnath Bharti conducted a “vigilante-like” raid - which caused widespread outrage across India – during which four Ugandan and Nigerian women were detained on charges of prostitution and drug dealing. The Delhi police had refused to carry out the raid in the absence of a search warrant . The accusations were proved baseless later through forensic tests, Indian newspaper the Hindu reported.

Kejriwal, a former grassroots anti-graft crusader, took to the streets on Monday to demand control of New Delhi’s police — currently answerable to the union home minister — be transferred to the state government. He is also demanding the suspension of police officers involved in the investigation of the gang-rape of a Danish tourist and separate run-ins with his ministers.

A self-confessed anarchist, Kejriwal’s sit-in at a high security zone, where the Indian Parliament and major ministries are housed, has snarled traffic and made life miserable for commuters.

“Anarchist CM Plunges Delhi Into Chaos,” says the Hindu newspaper. “If the chief minister will sit in protest who will run the government?” says a visibly disillusioned taxi driver Mangal Singh, the likes of whom had voted Kejriwal into power last December.

2 comments
sridhar.sid
sridhar.sid

That India has huge problems and that the people want urgent solutions has been confirmed by the election of the AAP party. Through some creative activism and hard work, they got to power in Delhi. Now, came the hard part i.e make the changes that AAP fought to change! This was beyond AAP, which is a rag tag collection of people from extremes, Bankers to Communists to slum dwellers. Hence, the next best to Governing is to stop others ! Hence the two days of Tamasha was vintage theatre, which should have been staged at the Ram Lila Grounds and during Dushera. Irresponsible goons in AAP's Cabinet have broken the law, insulted people with language of the gutter and behaved like thugs. The Congress wanted to expose AAP and this has been made easy by clumsy politicians from AAP.

Ketan.Kuchchhi
Ketan.Kuchchhi

If this strike continues until 26 January - India's Republic Day - then congress should take off its support in the Government, Delhi must come under President's rule and new election must be made together with the National election in May 2014.