12 injured in AAP-police clashes

04:56:00


AAP supporters jump barricades put up to prevent them from reaching Arvind Kejriwal’s sit-in venue; two policemen hurt in stone-pelting

Clashes erupted between supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party and police near Rail Bhavan on Tuesday, leaving more than a dozen people including two policemen injured.
A group of jostling people wearing AAP caps jumped barricades, set up around all the arterial roads leading to the venue where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sat on dharna for the second day, and clashes broke out when police started pushing them back.
There was heavy deployment of police at the high-security zone in central Delhi that houses the Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office, various Ministries and the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
In the morning the number of people at the protest site dwindled following heavy downpour but as the day progressed the crowd swelled.
However, police prevented them from coming near Rail Bhavan where Mr. Kejriwal has been protesting along with his Ministers demanding suspension of 3 SHOs and one ACP.
All through the day, AAP supporters kept raising anti-police and anti-Shinde slogans.
The police barricaded the area from four sides. At around 3.30 p.m., 200 to 300 AAP volunteers broke the barricades near the Constitution Club to reach to the place where Chief Minister was holding his protest.
In response, the cops baton-charged the AAP volunteers in which around 10 AAP workers were injured, while two policemen were injured in the incident of stone-pelting.
Police officers said they were operating under difficult conditions and trying to maintain law and order in the area.
Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh lashed out at the Delhi Police accusing them of brutally beating up a number of party workers.
“Police brutality is evident. Journalists were beaten up. A lot of our volunteers were beaten up.
“We are trying to maintain law and order and a lot of volunteers were injured and they are being taken to hospital,” Mr. Singh, who is a member of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), told reporters in New Delhi.
He said the party was trying to ensure proper medical attention to all those injured.
Kejriwal warns AAP supporters will flood Rajpath
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday ruled out negotiations to end the stand off with the Centre and threatened to flood Rajpath with lakhs of supporters that could disrupt Republic Day celebrations.
Demanding action against policemen who refused to carry out a raid on an alleged drug and prostitution ring on a Delhi minister’s directive last week, he continued his dharna for the second day near the Rail Bhavan not far from Raisina Hill, the place from where the Republic Day parade starts.
He ruled out any negotiations to end the protest, saying the safety of women in the capital is not a matter of negotiation.“The people protesting here are not Pakistanis or Americans. They are our own people. Shinde is saying that we will we will celebrate Republic Day but for whom? The VIPs will watch the floats and parades. That is not Republic Day.
“We will continue our protest. How can Home Minister (Sushilkumar) Shinde sleep when so many crimes are happening in Delhi? When women are unsafe in the city? We won’t negotiate,” Mr Kejriwal told reporters.
Attacking Mr Shinde for ruling out action against police officials who refused to raid the alleged drug and prostitution ring, he said, “I would urge him not to back his men but back the people of India."
Rains force Kejriwal to take shelter in car
Earlier, Mr. Kejriwal, along with his ministerial colleague Manish Sisodia, was forced to take refuge in his car as the skies opened up on Tuesday morning.
As Mr. Kejriwal decided to sit in the four wheeler to escape the rain, his personal staff from the Delhi government told PTI that he was unwell.
“Sahab (Mr. Kejriwal) has cold and slight fever. He is resting inside the car. Sisodia sahab and Madam (Mr. Kejriwal’s wife) are also there with him,” said one of his staff members.
On Monday night, Mr. Kejriwal slept on the road under the open sky while some of his supporters spent the night singing and raising slogans around a bonfire
Some Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers were seen covering themselves with huge vinyl party posters to protect themselves from the rain.
The Rajpath and its adjoining areas offered an interesting spectacle with Republic Day preparations in full swing in one corner while the other corner was brimming with supporters of AAP who were sitting on a dharna outside Rail Bhavan.
Though there was a small crowd in the morning as compared to what it was last evening, AAP supporters started thronging the venue gradually and raised slogans against Delhi Police and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
'How can Shinde ask me where to sit?'
Mr. Kejriwal threatened that “If the demands are not met then lakhs of our supporters will come to Rajpath. They (the Centre) must listen to the people.”
Attacking the Home Minister, he said he will not shift to Jantar Mantar as requested by the police and the Centre will have to accept his demand for action against the policemen who had refused to act against the alleged drug and prostitution racket.
“Have the people of Delhi given them the right to make decisions for them? No. They have given me the right. How can Shinde ask me where to sit? I will tell him where to sit,” he said.
The Chief Minister also accused the police of harassing his supporters at the protest venue and said the area has been turned into a jail.
“They have turned this small area into a jail. There are not toilets here. I was using a toilet at Rail Bhavan here yesterday. Today they have even closed that. We had arranged a public toilet somehow yesterday which they did not allow to bring here. They are not even allowing food to be brought here.
“I had to go to the barricade myself to bring the tea inside. The people protesting here are not Pakistanis or Americans. They are our own people. Where will the women go for using a toilet? Has Shinde announced a war against the people?” he said.
'Political discourse of India has changed forever'
Criticising Mr. Shinde, Mr. Kejriwal said the Home Minister had “suspended” a number of policemen after some people barged into his residence few months back but no action is taken if women are harassed.
“He (Shinde) is saying that we will celebrate Republic Day but for whom? The VIPS will watch the parades. That is not Republic Day celebration.
“Someone was telling me that a window was broken by protestors at Shinde’s residence few months ago.12 policemen were suspended. When a woman is raped, he says we will get an inquiry done but won’t suspend the police,” he charged.
“A woman was burnt but police is not arresting anyone as they will first get an inquiry done. R.K. Singh was right in saying that it is money which reaches the top,” he said.
Asking Mr. Shinde to support the common man’s cause, the Chief Minister claimed that there will be “rebellion” in Delhi Police as lower level police officials were with AAP.
“A man resigned and came to join us. He had tears in his eyes. Another man who was shouting slogans in our favour was suspended. There will be a rebellion in Delhi Police too,” he said.
Coming down hard on the Home Minister, Mr. Kejriwal also accused him of trying to “run” Delhi and justified his protest, saying political discourse in the country has undergone a change.
“We were elected by the people. They approach us. We asked Shinde in a meeting if people approach him when women are raped or burnt. He said ‘no’. But people come to us and ask what are you doing. Who is Shinde to run Delhi? He is beginning to think he is the Chief Minister of Delhi,” he alleged.
“Politics will now be run by these unconventional methods. The political discourse of India has changed forever now. This is democracy,” he said.
Metro stations closed
Mr. Kejriwal blamed Mr. Shinde for the inconvenience caused to people due to closing down of a number of Metro stations around Central Delhi.
“Shinde has closed the metro stations. I had told Metro officials to run the Metro. They said they cannot do it as Delhi Police has closed them. Shinde is causing inconvenience not only to us but also to the general public.He has closed the Metro stations,” he said.

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