BJP protests cops’ action during rally
Union home minister P Chidambaram on Friday said the government would examine whether "any excesses" had been committed by the police on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers during the party's demonstration in the Capital on Thursday.delhi Updated: Feb 26, 2011 00:11 IST
Union home minister P Chidambaram on Friday said the government would examine whether "any excesses" had been committed by the police on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers during the party's demonstration in the Capital on Thursday.
Earlier during the day, BJP MPs in both houses of Parliament strongly protested the police action as soon as the proceedings began in the morning. Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned for an hour because of this.
Responding to senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu's demand for a judicial inquiry into the lathi charge on his party workers, Chidambaram said he was "sorry" if any political worker had been injured in the police action.
The home minister, however, made it clear that preliminary police report pointed to a breach of understanding
by the saffron party’s protestors.
"If there is any indication that any excess has been committed, we will look into the matter. But I assure you that this demonstration could have been conducted peacefully according to the originally arrived at understanding," Chidambaram said.
"Fortunately, there is a video, I believe, which captures most of the demonstration. I have asked that the video be shown to me… I am not taking a partisan view…we will ask for a medical report. We will try to see what can be done," the home minister said.
Quoting a police report, Chidambaram said a "mild lathicharge" was carried out only after agitating BJP workers tried to cross the barricades. He said they were allowed to hold a demonstration and were asked not to cross the first barricade, to which the party leaders had earlier agreed.
He said the police first used water canons after which most agitating BJP workers including its leaders disbursed but some tried to cross barrier number one.
"Leaders also left the place, which was a mistake. Leaders should have stayed there and restrained other workers.
The leader should be the last to leave," the home minister said.
On Thursday, more than 30 people, including journalists and policemen, were injured when police used tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse BJP activists near Jantar Mantar.
The injured were taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. The activists were protesting the alleged corruption in Delhi government.
The police resorted to tear gas when they tried to break security cordon to reach Parliament House.