The face-off between the Delhi Police and the AAP government intensified on Monday following a meeting between chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and police commissioner BS Bassi.
Kejriwal had summoned the commissioner to discuss the law and order situation in the city following the murder of a teenage in the Anand Parbat area.
Soon after the meeting got over, Delhi home minister Satyendar Jain addressed a news conference and accused the commissioner of taking the murder case “lightly” and stonewalling several queries by the CM. Bassi, speaking separately to the reporters, denied the minister’s claims and said the meeting was held in a “cordial atmosphere”.
Jain, who was also present in the meeting, said Bassi gave a list of 500 victims and urged the government to give `5 lakh compensation to all of them just as it did in the case of the teenager.
“Kejriwal asked Bassi to take the list to his boss, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bassi replied saying the PM is too pre-occupied with other works and has no time for Delhi Police,” Jain told reporters noting that Delhi Police should be sensitive and that Bassi must answer the chief minister’s queries.
Bassi said he had appreciated the government’s compensation offer and the CM refused to take the list. “We will not send it anymore.” he said.
Before his meeting with the CM, Bassi went to meet L-G Najeeb Jung. “Police is always accountable to the system and not to any individual. We are answerable to the government and through it to Parliament,” Bassi told reporters after meeting Jung.
Jain asserted the CM has the authority to question the police. “We are the people’s representatives and we have every right to question the police. Delhi police comes directly under the Prime Minister and it needs to be made accountable,” said Jain.
The commissioner, however, said that the AAP MLAs were “biased” by local issues since Delhi’s citizens have high expectations from the AAP government. “Delhiites have lot of expectations from Delhi CM and ministers. Any prime minister or union home minister does not have local vested interest in Delhi.”
Kejriwal has also asked Bassi to provide details of crime against women in Delhi, and make public names of inspectors who were being repeatedly made heads of police stations in the city and inspectors who were ignored for such postings, Jain said.
Bassi said he has no problems in sharing those details. “I have no problem in sharing such details, they can be obtained through RTI,” the police commissioner said.
Reacting to allegations that the police were soft on the accused arrested in connection with the murder of the 19-year-old girl, Bassi said investigators were taking decisions as per the law and the probe is on the right track.
The top cop also expressed the hope that the CM, the home minister and the chief secretary will appreciate his views.
Bassi also denied any pressure from the central government in cases related to AAP legislators.