Union home minister Rajnath Singh backed the Delhi Police on Thursday for its handling of the JNU incident and the Patiala House assault on students and journalists in the face of criticism from the opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Replying to a debate on the ‘complete breakdown of law and order in Delhi recently’, Singh said the incidents were handled “in a professional manner.” “I am not in agreement that the law and order situation in Delhi has deteriorated during the recent past,” the minister said. Congress leader Anand Sharma had initiated the debate through the calling attention notice.
Last week, students and journalists were attacked by a BJP MLA and lawyers at the Patiala House court in Delhi during a hearing involving JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar who has been booked for sedition. The Delhi Police personnel deployed at the court were accused of inaction when the attack went on.
The Delhi Police chief also drew flak for the sedition charges against Kumar and a number of other students.
Kumar was charged with sedition on the basis of a doctored video, but real videos of violence led only to FIR and bail (for a BJP MLA and two lawyers) in 30 minutes, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said. “Why are they (the perpetrators of violence in Patiala House) out, why not in jail for five-ten years?” he asked.
Rajnath Singh responded by saying that it was for the courts to decide how long should an accused be sent to jail. He also said that the police was correct in not intervening during the assault since the situation would have led to a stampede.