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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Arvind Kejriwal calls off stir, says its victory of people

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 21, 2014
First Published: 19:51 IST(21/1/2014) | Last Updated: 08:48 IST(22/1/2014)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday called off his protest after Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung appealed the stir be ended keeping in mind the issue of national security ahead of Republic Day celebrations. The L-G partially agreed to the demands raised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Kejriwal told cheering supporters after dark.

“The LG said two police officials whose suspension we had demanded are being sent on leave pending a judicial inquiry into the matter of negligence. Let’s end the protest here today. It is a victory of the people of Delhi,” a seemingly weak Kejriwal announced on Tuesday evening.  

Kejriwal had called a 10-day protest on Monday, demanding action against police officials who refused to raid an alleged drug and prostitution ring in south Delhi on the orders of law minister Somnath Bharti.

Read: ‘Erring’ officers were due for leave anyway

Read: Is Arvind Kejriwal banking on Congress pulling out?

He also wanted action against Delhi Police officials after a 51-year-old Danish woman was gang-raped in central Delhi on Tuesday last week.

However, the L-G said in a letter to the CM that the police officials would only be sent on leave and not suspended.

He, however, failed to secure his main demand that the city's police force be put under his government's control. The central government refused to agree because of Delhi's status as the national capital.

Read: AAP eyeing LS polls via street politics

HT Analysis: Is Arvind Kejriwal an agent of change or a successful demagogue?

“We will continue our efforts to make Delhi Police accountable,” he said in his address on Tuesday.

On Monday, Shinde had ruled out transferring control of Delhi Police to the state government. “It is the national capital. That isn’t possible.”

Women and child development minister Rakhi Birla had also had a run-in with the police after they allegedly refused to nab the in-laws of a woman who was hospitalised with 45% burns.

Read: Rains force Arvind Kejriwal to take shelter in car

“The police also arrested the people responsible for setting the woman afire in Sagarpur. We are happy that they acted after earlier refusing to do anything,” the Delhi CM told the people gathered for protests near Rail Bhavan in the heart of Delhi.

Kejriwal said after calling off his stir that the L-G’s action was the first step towards the party’s goal of achieving full-statehood for Delhi.

The Delhi CM and AAP supporters earlier intensified their stir on a chilly and rainswept Tuesday, triggering chaos for the second successive day in the Capital.

Read: Delhi Cong chief Arvinder Singh Lovely calls Kejriwal a liar

At least 30 people were injured after AAP supporters defied the police and jumped barricades to reach the CM who started the protests on Monday and is leading it from a makeshift podium in central Delhi.

The 44-year-old chief minister slept outside on the pavement on Monday night after beginning his protest earlier in the day.

Aides brought him files for the administration of the city of 17 million people as he sat with other members of the cabinet at the protest site, near buildings housing the presidency, Parliament and ministries.

Both the Delhi Police, which functions under the Union home ministry and a few ministers of the Delhi government had reached the doors of Lt Governor Jung over the matter last week. Jung had then ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.

Full Coverage: Kejriwal, a common man in politics


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