Delhi CM claims victory, ends violent protest
After two of the five cops -- who allegedly disobeyed orders -- were sent on leave, Kejriwal called off his stir, which saw more than 30 people getting injured
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal last evening ended his dramatic street protest following an appeal by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, who partially acted on the AAP leader’s demand for action against five policemen.
His head wrapped with a woollen muffler, Kejriwal told the media and an army of supporters in the heart of the city that he and his ministers were ending the protest.
“A number of police officials have been sent on leave. It is a victory of people,” said Kejriwal, “We will continue our efforts to make Delhi Police accountable.”
“This is the first step towards our goal of achieving full-Statehood for Delhi.”
The announcement sparked off full-throated cries of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ from the mass of supporters.
Jung stepped in to defuse what was developing to be a major crisis for the central government after Kejriwal threatened to continue his sit-in indefinitely, and police and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) activists clashed more than once leaving several people injured.
Over 100 AAP protesters yesterday forcefully entered Rafi Marg that led to the protest site after pushing through barricades, resulting in a clash with the police.
Police tried to stop the advancing AAP volunteers who did not pay heed, resulting in a scuffle.
“At least 11 people were injured in the clash and were taken to hospital while 18 policemen were hurt,” said a police officer.
“One of our policeman suffered a broken nose,” he added.
Meanwhile, an AAP leader said three people, including a woman, have been admitted to a hospital while six others who received minor injuries were discharged.
The AAP supporters had earlier pelted stones at police officials and injuring constable Dinesh Gupta, posted at the Mukherjee Nagar police station, who was hurt near his eye and was rushed to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where his condition was stable.
A journalist, Nagendra Nath Mishra, who tried to enter the protest site was allegedly beaten up by police. Fearful of the escalating violence, Jung urged Kejriwal to withdraw the protest ‘in view of the sacrosanct occasion of the Republic Day and the perceived security situation’.
He promised that a judicial inquiry ordered against allegedly errant policemen would be expedited and in the meantime two police officers would be sent on leave.