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Your car was not in parking lot, did not have security features: L-G to Kejriwal

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal responds to Arvind Kejriwal’s letter raising concerns over law and order after the chief minister’s car was stolen and found last week

delhi Updated: Oct 20, 2017 08:06 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal,Blue WagonR,Kejriwal's car
The car was found abandoned in Ghaziabad on Saturday after it was stolen on Thursday from outside the secretariat.(Sakib Ali/HT)

Delhi’s lieutenant governor Anil Baijal reminded chief minister Arvind Kejriwal that his car was not parked at an authorised spot and did not have security devices, responding to a letter that criticised the “rapidly deteriorating law and order situation” after the Aam Aadmi Party leader’s iconic blue hatchback was stolen last week.

Kejriwal’s blue WagonR was stolen from outside the Delhi secretariat and found abandoned two days later in Ghaziabad, bringing into focus the problem of auto thefts in the national capital where 312 vehicles are stolen every day on an average.

Responding to Kejriwal’s letter on the issue, Baijal said the Delhi Police in its report found that the chief minister’s car was parked about 100 meters from the authorised parking and no security gear or equipments were installed.

The L-G said that he hopes the CM would cooperate with Delhi Police in efforts to motivate, encourage and generate awareness among Delhi’s citizens to park their vehicles in authorised sites and install security devices.

The CM should “also boost the morale of its policemen by appreciating their commendable efforts that led to the recovery of his stolen car within two days,” he said, according to a statement released by his office.

It was unclear what the L-G was referring to when he spoke of Delhi Police recovering the vehicle since the car was found abandoned in Ghaziabad and was spotted by the local police, which comes under the Uttar Pradesh administration.

The two authorities who share important responsibilities for the city between them have a fraught relationship that is often marked by turf battles and blame games, though confrontations are significantly lower since Baijjal took over as L-G this year.

The L-G reports to the Union government, which is controlled by AAP’s rival Bharatiya Janata Party.

In his letter to the L-G on October 13, Kejriwal had said, “What can the common men expect in a state where the chief minister’s car goes missing? Police and law and order come directly under you. Please make the system robust. We are ready to cooperate.”

Taking a jibe at the Delhi Police, the chief minister had said that upon receiving his letter, the police will try to paint a rosy picture of law and order in the city “by sharing favourable statistics.”

Baijal replied to this by saying that he regularly reviews the law and order situation of Delhi with the Commissioner of Police and senior officers. In these meetings, several decisions and steps have been taken in to make the law and order machinery of Delhi more effective and public-oriented, he said.

“Further, Delhi Police is taking prompt and effective action in cases of motor vehicle thefts and due to their sincere efforts; Delhi Police has arrested 3,252 auto lifters till 30th September, 2017,” a statement from the L-G’s Office read.

On Kejriwal’s car theft, the L-G also explained that after receiving information about the theft, he immediately asked the police commissioner to take prompt action.

“Commissioner of Police, Delhi has submitted a status report to the L-G, wherein he has apprised that several teams were constituted immediately to search the car. CCTVs of the place of incident and border areas were scanned intensively,” the statement said.

“Intensive checking of parking places were carried out and all the Picket Staff was put on alert and at last due to these integrated efforts, Delhi Police recovered the stolen Wagon R car within two days”.

The blue WagonR became synonymous with the Delhi chief minister when he launched his ambitious campaign in 2013 as a first-time politician. The car, which earned the moniker AAP mobile, was as emblematic of the Aam Aadmi Party chief as his woollen muffler that he always wore during the hectic campaigning in the winter weeks. At one point in 2014, the chief minister slept in the vehicle overnight during a protest.

First Published: Oct 18, 2017 09:45 IST