New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today defied police orders to launch a 10-day protest and urged the public to join him in demanding police reforms, starting with the removal of three police officers who refused to carry out a series of arrests on the orders of Delhi's Law Minister, Somnath Bharti. (Track LIVE updates here)
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said there is no question of any action till an enquiry is completed. Mr Kejriwal says that's unacceptable.
In the evening, leaders from his party were seen on camera arguing aggressively with the police about allegedly beating up their supporters including a law-maker named Akhilesh Tripathi, who was injured and moved to hospital. More than 1,000 police and several anti-riot vehicles were posted at the venue of the protest in the high-security zone in the heart of the city, which is in lockdown for Republic Day celebrations. (Common gripes greet common man party: foreign media on Kejriwal)
"Some people say that I'm an anarchist creating disorder. Yes, I'm an anarchist," Mr Kejriwal shouted this morning after he was stopped by the police from driving upto the Home Ministry, where he had planned a sit-in protest against its chief, Sushil Kumar Shinde. (Chief Minister turns chief protestor in unprecedented face-off: 10 developments)
Mr Kejriwal says the Delhi government must be given charge of the city's police force which currently reports to the union government via the Home Ministry. His demand comes after last week's gang-rape of a Danish tourist, and a controversial midnight raid by the Law Minister in a South Delhi neighbourhood. ('Have come prepared for a 10-day dharna': Law Minister Somnath Bharti to NDTV)
The minister asked the police to arrest Ugandan citizens and raid a house where he alleged they were trafficking drugs and sex. The police refused, saying they had no warrant.
Four women have since filed a police case alleging that they were beaten up by a mob, and forced to submit urine samples. They tested negative for drugs.