Last week, Delhi citizens were in for an unusual sight – that of their Chief Minister or CM sleeping in the street. Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s newly appointed Chief Minister spent two days (and a night!) on the streets of central Delhi, very close to Parliament House. He was protesting for the suspension (removal from work) of two police officers who had refused to arrest people on the orders of his team member and Delhi’s Law Minister Somnath Bharati.
(In the photo above, police guard the protesting CM as he goes to sleep on a cold Delhi road)
Bharati wanted to arrest a few African people living in a Delhi colony on the grounds that they were breaking the law. He landed up in the Delhi colony late in the night and demanded the police arrest the people he suspected. The police refused, saying that they did not have the required warrants (permissions) for searching the house or arresting the persons. This refusal trigerred Kejriwal’s protest.
City centre brought to a halt
The CM’s protest caused roads to be blocked and metro stations to be closed. Thousands of people were inconvenienced. But why couldn’t the CM order the suspension of the police officers himself? No, he can’t. That’s because Delhi Police is under the control of the central government, not the state government. In fact one of Kejriwal’s larger demands is that he should be given control of Delhi Police.
While its good that Kejriwal shows such support for his team, Owlie thinks that Kejriwal’s protest was not for such a great cause. After all, it is not clear how Bharti expected the police to search homes and arrest people without warrants. Plus, bringing the city to a halt over one issue doesn’t seem very smart either.
P.S. The protest was finally called after the central government asked the police officers in question to go on leave!