The stand-off between the Aam Aadmi Party and Delhi Police escalated after a senior leader alleged that a police vehicle tried to run him over on Tuesday night, prompting an astonished police chief to dub the accusation as bizarre.
The ruling party alleged that its senior leader Dilip Pandey had a narrow escape when a police van tried to crush him during a protest outside a police station over the murder of a 19-year-old girl. Pandey said an AAP volunteer pushed him out of harm’s way.
He also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the incident. “There was an attempt to kill me last night by Modiji’s police. We will not be bogged down. This is not Gujarat. We will take this battle to the streets,” he said after party leaders met chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence on Wednesday.
A minute-long video on YouTube and Twitter shows the van driving past Pandey and AAP volunteers while he was talking to reporters. Seconds later, some people are seen stopping the vehicle and thrashing the driver before he was rescued by a handful of officers.
Pandey filed a complaint at the police station minutes after the incident, while the bus driver made a counter-complaint against AAP volunteers.
Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi said he had never ever heard anyone make such allegations. “Never before in my long career have I heard someone say a Delhi Police driver attempted to crush them. I assure you we do not have anything against anyone -- we don’t have any prejudice towards anyone.”
AAP leader Dilip Pandey alleges police van tried to run him over
The AAP threatened to launch an agitation over the incident and seek an explanation from lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, to whom the Delhi Police reports.
Kejriwal and his party have been demanding that Centre turn over the control of police to the Delhi government.
They have sought time from the President, home minister Rajnath Singh and police chief Bassi.
The party also alleged that five of its volunteers, who were detained for protesting outside Anand Parbat police station, were missing since Tuesday evening.
Police denied the allegation. “Our job is to solve kidnapping cases, not the other way round. We have not received any complaint from anyone regarding any such kidnapping,” deputy commissioner of police (central) Parmaditya said.
(With agency inputs)