Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal raised the statehood issue again on Thursday, linking it to ensuring better policing in the National Capital after a physically-challenged minor was raped and left for dead on railway tracks in southeast Delhi.
Kejriwal visited AIIMS where the 13-year-old rape survivor is battling for life with multiple injuries on her body.
“Such crimes are cropping up repeatedly. It once again raises the issue that law and order should be under control of the elected government as it makes it easier for the enforcement agencies to work in close co-ordination with people,” Kejriwal told reporters.
Kejriwal’s comments came a week after his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government unveiled a draft bill seeking full statehood for Delhi and requesting the BJP and Congress to back the move.
The National Capital is governed under a complex pattern with key departments such as law and order under the lieutenant general who reports to the Union home ministry.
Kejriwal, who had made statehood one of his major poll planks, have repeatedly demanded control over Delhi Police. He also accuses the BJP-led Centre of using the lieutenant general for political vendetta against his government.
Speaking to reporters after his interaction with the survivor’s family on Thursday, Kejriwal also for a joint working mechanism with the Centre within the existing system to check such crimes.
The chief minister said he has sought an appointment with Union home minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the issue.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal, who visited AIIMS on Wednesday, also asked the Centre and state to work together to curb crime against women.
“Both chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and home minister Rajnath Singh will have to sit together, make a high level committee and discuss steps to curb crime and atrocities against minors and woman,” she said.
Doctors at AIIMS said the victim, who was found at Pul Prahladpur on May 18, “remains to be critical but is stable”. The girl had bruises and cuts on her abdomen, stomach and private parts. She has undergone two surgeries.
The girl is suffering from Down’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder which affects the physical and mental growth of children.
Police detained a teenager over the incident on Wednesday.
Though police suspect it to be a case of gang rape they were yet to establish sexual assault by multiple people.