NEW DELHI: Citing the incidents in JNU and Patiala House court, the opposition led by Congress today slammed the government in Rajya Sabha and alleged that law and order in Delhi had deteriorated, a charge rebutted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh who patted the back of police for handling the two cases.
The opposition parties questioned slapping of sedition charge against some students of JNU and alleged that attempts were being made to save the perpetrators of violence in Patiala House court, claiming that Delhi Police was a "party" to the incident. “The incidents which happened during last few days were handled by Delhi Police in a professinal manner. Therefore, I am not in agreement that the law and order situation in Delhi has deterioated during the recent past," Singh said while replying to a debate on Calling Attention Motion on 'Complete breakdown of law and order in Delhi'.
The Home Minister said the police acted as per law in the anti-national and anti-constitutional incidents in the JNU. "A group of many students in the university tried to vitiate the atmosphere but it remained limited to the university premises," he said. He added that "the Delhi police, while exercising restraint in Patiala House court premises, did not use force because there was a full possibility of stampede due to limited space in the court premises and use of tear gas would have interfered with the working of the court."
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned how a "doctored video" in JNU case could be the basis for slapping sedition charge when real videos of violence in Patiala court leads to only "FIR and bail within 30 minutes". He was referring to the arrest of BJP MLA O P sharma and two lawyers by the Delhi Police in connection with violence at Patiala court. All the three were given immediate bail.
Rajnath Singh said, "What happened at Patiala court was very sad and I condemn it again. No wise person will support it....I will only say that action has been taken. FIR has been registered." Azad said the "Police was party to it. How can they take action?" With regard to Azad's contention that weak charges have been pressed against Sharma and two lawyers, Singh asked, "Will the Home Minister decide what sections have to be applied."
Singh said on the day of violence itself, he had spoken to Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi and asked him to take strict action. When the opposition took a dig at him saying that the perpetrators of violence at Patiala court are out in the open, the Home Minister said, "Only court can decide if they are in jail or out. We have never interfered with the police investigation and I will never interfere in the future also". Amid repeated questions on the sections registered against the trio, Singh said "all sections which were applicable have been registered".
He later read out the sections under which the FIR was registered. He also said that there is an FIR pending probe also in which more people and sections could be brought in. Amid slogans that weak sections have been imposed, Azad stood up and said, "We are not satisfied. They are being saved. We are walking out".
The Congress, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with the Left then walked out. Earlier, the Home Minister vehemently supported the Delhi Police on the overall law and order situation in the country saying, "Delhi Police is doing all it can". He said that Delhi Police has multi-dimensional responsibility and it will be injustice to them to say they are not doing their job.
Singh said Delhi Police was world's largest metropolitan police managing a state which has a population of over 1.80 crore along with about 40 lakh of people coming in for work and going back on a daily basis. He said that in the last one year, 4,227 post had been sanctioned for the Delhi Police in comparison to about 18000-20000 in the last 10 years.
For ensuring safety of the women, he said he has stressed on the need to have at least 33 per cent of police personnel being women besides use of modern technology. He said another issue was registration of FIRs which has almost doubled in the NDA rule. "Does this mean that crime has doubled since the time we came? It means that all FIRs are being registered. Had the Delhi Police being allowed to function like earlier, these FIRs would not have been registered," Singh said.
He said there is truthful and fair registration of FIR by the Delhi Police. Earlier while making a statement on behalf of his senior, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiran Rijiju denied any deterioration of law and order in the national capital saying the Delhi Police was performing "efficiently and patiently."
"I am not only satisfied with its performance but would also like to compliment and thank 60,000 personnel of Delhi Police and it is their toil and labour 24x7 which ensures that the city remains peaceful," he said.