Congress leader P Chidambaram today tore into the centre's decision to extend Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik's tenure by a month. Highlighting the fact the decision was announced on the day after a lone teenage gunman opened fire at Jamia Millia Islamia students despite a Delhi Police contingent standing only yards away, Mr Chidambaram sought to know who would be suspended for the cops' apparent failure to protect citizens.
"The Police Commissioner of Delhi gets an extension on the day there is a shooting in the presence of a substantial police force... Incomprehensible and reprehensible. One has got an extension, but who has been suspended for the deplorable shooting yesterday?" Mr Chidambaram tweeted this morning.
At around 1.40 pm yesterday a 17-year-old UP schoolboy fired on Jamia students on a peaceful anti-citizenship law march in the national capital. He did so in clear view of a large group of armed Delhi police officers who seemed to do nothing initially.
It was only after the gunman fired one round - injuring Shadab Farooq, a Jamia student, - that they began moving, slowly, towards him.
The Police Commissioner of Delhi gets an extension on the day there is a shooting in the presence of a substantial police force— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 31, 2020
Incomprehensible and reprehensible.
One has got an extension, but who has been suspended for the deplorable shooting yesterday?
Disturbing visuals of the incident show the gunman apparently unconcerned by the presence of the police; at one point he had his back to armed officers and at others he casually sauntered down the street while waving his country-made pistol.
Delhi Police later claimed the gunman was 30 metres away with his back to them, so the weapon was "not visible". However, visuals of the shooting show the gunman waving the pistol in the air repeatedly.
The gunman has been charged with attempted murder.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, under whom Delhi Police rolls up, tweeted after the incident to say "the culprit will not be spared".
Mr Chidambaram isn't the only opposition leader to call out Delhi Police; Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted shortly after the attack to say "law (and order) system in Delhi is deteriorating".
"What is happening in Delhi? The law (and order) system of Delhi is deteriorating. Please take care of Delhi's law and order," the AAP leader, whose party is seeking a second straight term in power, said.
On the same day as the shooting Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik's tenure was extended by a month in view of Assembly election on February 8.
Questions have been raised over the conduct of Delhi Police in recent weeks, starting with their violent crackdown of what started as a peaceful anti-citizenship law protest march by Jamia students.
Around 60 people were injured in a clash that saw the cops barge into the university campus, without permission, and assault students sitting inside the library.
The cops' actions during the brutal mob attack on JNU students and staff earlier this month - 70 to 100 masked goons, with iron rods and sledgehammers, went on an unchecked rampage that left 34 injured - also came under scrutiny.
A JNU Students' Union official later claimed the cops, who filed multiple FIRs against injured students, including JNUSU leader Aishe Ghosh, but only one on the attack, did nothing.
No arrests have been made, as yet, in the JNU mob attack case.
Mr Chidambaram, who is out on bail after spending 106 days in Delhi's Tihar Jail in connection with the INX Media scam case, has frequently targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the centre.
On Wednesday, with only three days to go to the Union Budget, he hit out at the Prime Minister over the state of the economy, highlighting shortfall in tax revenues and a sharp increase in retail inflation.