AAP to go ahead with protest, police impose prohibitory orders (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 19: The AAP Sunday said it will go ahead with its protest outside the union home ministry office here Monday if five police officials are not suspended for their inaction in busting a “prostitution and drug racket”, even as police imposed prohibitory orders banning unlawful assembly in the area.

The party has alleged that the policemen did not cooperate with Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti during his vigilante-style raid Wednesday night and on minister Rakhi Birla’s complaint concerning “improper action” in a dowry case.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also scheduled to take part in the protest outside the home ministry office demanding action against the police personnel, who include three station house officers and two assistant commissioners of police.

Delhi Police, which is under the union home ministry, Sunday imposed prohibitory orders banning unlawful assembly in New Delhi district, where the union home ministry office is located in North Block.

Police said the prohibitory orders were imposed as per normal procedure followed every year before Jan 26 for maintaining security ahead of the Republic Day celebrations and not in view of Monday’s proposed protest by the AAP.

Sources said senior officials of Delhi Police also held a meeting in the evening to discuss their response in view of AAP’s proposed protest.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh told media persons after a meeting of the party’s political affairs committee that they will go on with the protest.

“We are doing service for the people. We will not stop. Let police do whatever they want,” Singh said.

“We got to know about the imposing of Section 144 only through the media. We are fighting for the people and will continue with our protest. Let the police do their duty.”

Singh said they were hoping that the union home ministry and Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung will take action against the police personnel by Monday morning.

He also accused Delhi Police of “misbehaviour with women” who live in slums and termed the police “corrupt.”

He said ministers like Bharti and Birla were trying to make Delhi safe by cracking down on prostitution and drug rackets.

Bharti has already clarified that he never misbehaved with anyone, he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party’s proposed protest and said Bharti’s actions smacked of “racism”.

Jaitley also took a dig at the AAP for deciding to launch an agitation outside the home ministry office and said the party was more comfortable on the streets than the secretariat.

“It is obvious that the AAP is more comfortable doing a dharna than in the sachivalaya (secretariat). The past three weeks have shown that in the sachivalya, the party gets into a self-destructive mode,” Jaitley wrote on his blog Sunday.

Saying there was no discipline in AAP, the BJP leader wrote: “Is the planned dharna for one day a ploy to fracture its non-transparent arrangement with the Congress? Is the AAP looking for a way out of the government and get back to the streets?”

“The party comprises of ideologists, activists, the self-opinionated and the self-righteous. Forming a party and running a government is very different from leading an agitation.”

The BJP leader further said Bharti has “created a serious problem with African nationals staying in Delhi”.

The BJP’s Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel also demanded Bharti’s removal.

Police also lodged an FIR against unknown people for creating ruckus during the midnight raid to bust the alleged “racket”, in the presence of Bharti, in a south Delhi house where some African nationals were staying.

The complaint was lodged at the Malviya Nagar police station on the orders of Metropolitan Magistrate Chetna Singh.

IANS