Arvind Kejriwal calls off sit-in that gridlocked Delhi, shocked Centre

Arvind Kejriwal calls off sit-in that gridlocked Delhi, shocked Centre

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Arvind Kejriwal announcing the end of his two-day protest.
PTI

New DelhiChief Minister Arvind Kejriwal agreed on Tuesday evening to truncate the demonstration that left the heart of Delhi grid-locked, forced chaos upon commuters, and threatened to impede security and other arrangements needed for Sunday's Republic Day parade.

"This is a victory for Delhi," Mr Kejriwal, 45, announced on Tuesday evening, surrounded by supporters in one of the country's most high-security zones,  appropriated since Monday as the venue of his sit-in. (Watch)

"If women's safety is ever jeopardized, we will not hesitate to fight again," he warned. He also vowed that he will continue to fight for the control of the Delhi Police to be transferred to the state government from the union Home Ministry. (Track LIVE updates)

Mr Kejriwal's campaign against the Delhi Police began last week after his Law Minister Somnath Bharti was arguing with police during a night raid in a neighbourhood popular with immigrants from Uganda and Nigeria. The police refused to search a house the minister claimed was being used as a brothel, saying they did not have a warrant to go in. (Kejriwal calls off protest: 10 latest developments)

Mr Kejriwal had asked for the suspension of the police officers involved. Lieutenant Governor, Najeeb Jung, who is the Centre's representative in Delhi, promised to fast-track an enquiry against them. One of the officers has been asked to go on leave; so has a junior cop.
 
The second day of Mr Kejriwal's protest was tainted by violence. The police clashed with protestors who tried to storm through barricades and threw stones at them. Four policemen were injured. (Pics)

Mr Kejriwal spent Monday night on the road sleeping next to his blue Wagon-R, delivering a front-page moment for the country this morning. During the day, he signed files while seated in the car, professing that his ministers would run the city from the pavement if needed.

His critics say that his protest highlights his only real ability - to pull together demonstrations that grab media space and public attention, and that his Aam Aadmi Party is more interested in the upcoming national elections than governing the capital.
Story First Published: January 21, 2014 19:43 IST

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