Civil Unrest in Delhi: Kejriwal Tears Off LG’s Papers on Use of CCTV

Arvind Kejriwal protesting in front of LG office on May 14, 2018. Photo: AAP
Arvind Kejriwal protesting in front of LG office on May 14, 2018. Photo: AAP

Kejriwal’s AAP government believes that LG Baijal – who has been handpicked by PM Narendra Modi – is not allowing it to work independently and creating obstacles in its work.

By Rakesh Raman

While Delhi is already burning under the apathetic behavior of the local bureaucrats and politicians, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today added fuel to the fire.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader publicly tore up into pieces the CCTV proposal of his bête noire Anil Baijal, Lt. Governor (LG) of Delhi.

Kejriwal – who was haranguing at a public meeting – said that LG or Delhi Police cannot decide about the installation of CCTV cameras; only Janta (people of Delhi) can decide.

Kejriwal – who sat on a dharna in May in front of LG office – claims that LG (who is controlled by opposition party BJP) is not approving the CCTV proposal which is supposed to ensure safety of people – particularly women – of Delhi.

He added that earlier LG took more than a year to clear the Mohalla Clinics (community health care centers) proposal when he pressed the LG office with the help of his other colleagues in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

[ क्या नरेंद्र मोदी केजरीवाल की दिल्ली के लिए पूर्ण राज्य की मांग पूरी करेंगे? ]

Kejriwal warned that if the LG worked against the interests of the people, they will beat him with shoes and disfigure his face.

However, the LG office has clarified that Baijal has constituted a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary (Home) of Delhi Government to evolve a standard operating procedure or framework for installation, operation, monitoring of CCTVs and other related issues.

“CCTV is an effective tool for law enforcement but privacy concerns also need to be addressed,” an LG office communique stated. “While finalizing its report, the Committee shall consult all major users including departments, agencies, local bodies concerned, for their inputs and suggestions.”

[ Breach of Privacy: Delhi Housing Societies Allow Illegal Surveillance of Citizens ]

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The ruling AAP government believes that LG Baijal – who has been handpicked by PM Narendra Modi – is not allowing it to work independently and creating obstacles in its work.

AAP refers to an ambiguous judgment of the Supreme Court of India to take away administrative powers from the LG. The judgment issued earlier this month aimed to define the responsibilities of LG and chief minister of Delhi.

[ Let Us Save the School Education of Delhi ]

Kejriwal and his political colleagues claim that the court has given them full powers to take decisions in all cases except three reserved subjects: land, police, and public order. But they assert LG Baijal is still not ready to share authority with Kejriwal government.

Moreover, Delhi bureaucrats have also refused to accept the court decision saying that it is not applicable to them, although Kejriwal screamed it amounts to contempt of court.

While Kejriwal and Delhi bureaucrats had their own interpretations of the Supreme Court judgment, the opposition parties such as BJP and Congress offered totally different versions, saying there is nothing new in the court order.

Now AAP believes that only the full statehood for Delhi can put an end to its mounting troubles. The statehood issue can only be discussed in the Parliament of India, which is again controlled by Modi’s party BJP.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

Photo courtesy: AAP

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