The Aam Aadmi Party waded into yet another controversy on Monday with the Delhi Police booking MLA Alka Lamba for alleged trespassing and obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty.
The FIR, police said, was registered after seven shopkeepers from Kashmire Gate’s Yamuna Bazar area submitted CCTV footage that purportedly showed Lamba and an aide barging into a sweet shop and throwing away the cash box and other items.
The case was registered a day after the police arrested a 19-year-old youth for allegedly attacking the Chandni Chowk MLA with a stone during an anti-drugs drive in the area early on Sunday. AAP leaders said the youth worked at a shop owned by BJP MLA OP Sharma, who denied the allegation.
While Lamba claimed she was conducting an anti-drugs drive, shopkeepers alleged that she got violent and accused shopkeepers of encroaching upon government land. One of the complainants said he was targeted for being a BJP member.
Justifying her actions, Lamba on Monday said it was an “angry reaction” to the attack on her. Police, however, said the time stamp on the CCTV footage – which has since gone viral -- showed the events having taken place before Lamba made a PCR call to report the attack.
Lamba also filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women against OP Sharma’s statement to reporters in which he called her a “drug addict”. “She is a drug addict who under the effect of drugs had turned violent,” Sharma told reporters, angering AAP leaders who said he had no respect for women.
The party also launched a stinging criticism of Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi, accusing him of keeping mum on the attack on Lamba in which she sustained head injuries. AAP leader Ashutosh called Bassi a “senior BJP leader”. “Had the shop belonged to an AAP MLA or leader and had a BJP MLA been attacked, the senior BJP leader Bassi sahab would have sent them to Tihar by now. In this case, OP Sharma is not even called for an interrogation. On the other hand, we are being threatened openly. It’s better for you (Bassi) that you work as the chief spokesperson for the Prime Minister, but since you are also the Commissioner of Delhi, you should interrogate OP Sharma (sic),” Ashutosh said.
The AAP’s official statement said: “No amount of futile attempts to divert attention can take away the seriousness of attack on a woman MLA in full public view, where police personnel were also present. Can the Police deny the attack on an elected woman MLA in full public view.”
Bassi refuted the allegations saying the Delhi Police works as per the provisions of law and does not succumb to political pressure in handling cases.
(With agency inputs)