NEW DELHI: Amid its fierce tussle with Delhi Police, the AAP government today made a stinging attack on it and the Centre, saying the capital has become a "police state" as people in various parts of the city were "terrified" because of excesses by the cops.
Talking about "police brutality" on AAP protesters in Anand Parbat area on July 21, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the party workers were beaten up "mercilessly" by Delhi Police personnel which "reflected state of affairs".
"Delhi has become a police state. We use to hear about torture meted out to naxalites and terrorists. The same treatment is meted out to AAP workers. People are terrified," Sisodia during an interaction with protesters who sustained injuries during the protest.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a number of AAP leaders and a select group journalists were also present. The victims bared wounds of alleged police brutality to those present and some of them even broke down.
"We will have to fight unitedly. We will explore all options," said Kejriwal, assuring them of justice.
The face-off between Delhi Police and AAP government has intensified, particularly after the murder of a 19-year-old girl in Anand Parbat area. The AAP government had accused the police of not probing the case "effectively".
"We are raising a very serious issue. A 19-year-old girl has died of 32 stab wounds. But police is not taking the issue seriously. People in the area are petrified. Our workers were beaten up mercilessly. It may happen with the Chief Minister, me, any other minister. It may happen with journalists," the Deputy Chief Ministers said.
A number of AAP workers elaborated how they were beaten up and abused inside the police lockup on the night of July 21.
"A number of policemen in civil dress took me to a factory and beat me mercilessly as if I am a terrorist. They forced me to give a statement that Kejriwal gives us money. They abused us very badly," alleged Pawan Tandon, an AAP worker.
When sought his comments, Delhi's Police Commissioner B S Bassi said the protesters were uncontrollable. So police had to use force.
Senior lawyer Mandira Jaisingh, condemning the alleged police action, held Police Commissioner BS Bassi responsible for police action and said "he will have to give account for each blow. Bassi's law is being implemented inside the lockups."
Jaisingh assured the victims that she will take their cases to the court.