New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, severely criticised for his silence on the gang-rape of a Danish woman, today put the blame squarely on the Delhi Police, accusing it of being "a highly compromised force." (Highlights)
In his attempt to elucidate, he also made a controversial statement saying, "if you don't arrest drug and sex offenders...this is where tendencies of rape begin."
Mr Kejriwal said two incidents last night when his ministers had altercations with cops who had refused to act against alleged criminals demonstrated "how cops are operating."
He "warned" that action must be taken against the cops and said he would meet the Lieutenant Governor, who has charge of the Delhi Police, and Police Commissioner BS Bassi, tomorrow.
"Why are rapes happening in Delhi?...If crime does not happen in Delhi, it is not because of the Dehli Police, but inspite of it," the CM said.
Mr Kejriwal had brought along his two ministers. Law minister Somnath Bharti explained that his attempt to carry out a surprise raid on what he alleged was a drug and prostitution ring ended in an argument with cops, as they refused to act.
Rakhi Birla, AAP's youngest minister who looks after women's affairs, accused policemen of shielding people who had allegedly attempted a murder for dowry.
Responding to the charges by Mr Kejriwal, Mr Bassi said "The Delhi Police is capable of protecting people in the city."
Mr Kejriwal was among the most vociferous critics of his predecessor Sheila Dikshit for her Congress government's failure to ensure the safety of women in the Capital after the brutal gang-rape of a medical student on a moving bus in December 2012. He was particularly acerbic when she pointed out that the Delhi Police does not report to the state government.
The Congress, which props up Mr Kejriwal's minority government now, has reminded him of that. "They didn't wait for a day before protesting during the December16 gang-rape. Is this the same party that accused Sheila of making excuses?" said Delhi Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely. (Is this the same government that attacked Sheila Dikshit, asks Congress)
He also said it was a "worrying sign that the CM has not acted on the gang-rape of the Danish national."