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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal may be detained if he goes on dharna: sources

Jan 20, 2014 09:37 AM IST Politics Politics
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New Delhi: It is an unprecedented situation in Delhi as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal takes his fight with the Delhi Police to the Home Ministry on Monday morning. Kejriwal and his ministerial colleagues are set to go on a protest dharna at the Home Ministry to press for the suspension of five policemen who defied Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti's order to arrest Ugandan women who he felt were involved in drug trafficking.

Extra security forces have been moved to the North block. Sources say Kejriwal is likely to be detained under Section 65 of the Delhi Police Act. Prohibitory orders have been issued in Central Delhi and four metro stations - Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course - have been shut on Monday morning because of Kejriwal's dharna plan.

The protest is on despite reports that the Indian Mujahideen is plotting to kidnap him to secure the release of Yaseen Bhatkal.

Kejriwal has accused the policemen of defying Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti's orders to arrest Ugandan women he felt were involved in drug trafficking. This comes even as a CCTV footage from inside AIIMS shows Bharti talking to doctors at 5 am when the medical tests were being carried out on Ugandan women he accused of being involved in a sex racket. Sources have confirmed that Bharti reached AIIMS after the fracas at Khirki extension on Thursday and asked to 'see' for himself what was going on at the hospital.

The women have filed a complaint against Bharti alleging the minister and his supporters used abusive language against them and detained them on the night of the raid. One of the Ugandan women revealed that they were assaulted by the mob accompanying Bharti. "We were returning from a party when we reached here and we saw a lot of Indian men on the road. They stopped our car, started shouting at us. We were really scared, so refused to step out. They started banging the doors of our car. When the police came, we finally stepped out of the car."

The police have filed an FIR against unknown persons for molestation and wrongful restraint after the Ugandan women complained. Police say the women will be asked to identify Bharti and his supporters. Senior Lawyer Harish Salve is likely to take up the issue before the Delhi High Court.

Another woman demanded Bharti's resignation. She said, "Police helped us because I think they were going to kill us. The way they were treating us as if we were criminals. We are not criminals. The minister who conducted the raid should be made to resign. What he's doing is not right . We just want to go to our embassy."

The minister has, however, denied the allegation saying, "I strongly deny that me or any of my supporters had any role in the violence that happened there. I do not know if court has directed filing a case against me." On Saturday, Bharti tweeted, "Will do an expose in sometime on sex racketeering in Khirki extension."

The Ministry of External Affairs has condemned the incident saying that the complaints filed will be probed. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the incident was unacceptable. "I think it's shocking, completely unconstitutional, unacceptable. I am worried about attitude here which just because you see someone different from you put label of worst kind of social evil on them. It's completely unacceptable. What face will we show to the world that in India we have people with such narrow, such ridiculous way of treating foreigners."

Condemning the incident, MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the matter will be investigated. "We said we condemn this incident. We also explained that action is underway and the complaints registered will be investigated. We are in touch with the Delhi Police Commissioner on this matter and we intend to take this forward."

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Ambassador Gennet Zewide said the security remains a concern. She said, "Of course we're very much concerned, our nationals are being harassed like that. It is not only a concern to African ambassadors but to everybody. I think the way it was handled, was not appropriate. It is not right and it has to be condemned. We'd like to have measures where every citizen, including our citizens of Africa, either for education or medical reason or tourism, have to feel safe."

Earlier, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had strongly defending his government and his ministers vigilante stunts. Kejriwal defended Bharti while stressing that the Delhi Police must be made answerable to the state government and not the Central government.