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Delhi High Court seeks status report on attack outside CM Kejriwal’s residence – The Hindu

Miscreants vandalise the gate of the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in New Delhi, on March 30, 2022 | Photo Credit: PTI
The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the police to submit a status report on the investigation into the alleged attack and vandalism outside the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a protest against his remarks on the movie The Kashmir Files.
A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla directed the Delhi police to explain the “bandobast” (security arrangement) at the Chief Minister’s residence, noting that it was inadequate to control the “unruly crowd” that had gathered on Wednesday.
“We saw the video. It is an unruly crowd. Some took law into their hands. There is element of fear sought to be created. That is evident. Police force was inadequate and was outnumbered,” the Bench observed.
The court, which was hearing a petition by AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj seeking the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident, allowed the Delhi police to submit its status report in a sealed cover.
During the hearing, the police, represented by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, said that it had taken cognisance of the incident and registered an FIR. Mr. Jain said that all the evidence, including the CCTV footage from cameras around the Chief Minister’s residence, as well as the arterial roads, would be preserved.
Mr. Jain said the police was taking all steps to address the safety concerns and that eight persons had already been arrested in the case.
Mr. Bhardwaj, in his petition, alleged that the attack and vandalization appeared to have been carried out with Delhi police’s “tacit complicity’”
The petition has also sought directions to Delhi police and Ministry of Home Affairs for ensuring the security of the Chief Minister and his residence in future. “On March 30, 2022, several BJP goons, in the garb of a protest, launched an attack on the official residence of the Delhi CM,” the plea said.
“Videos and photographs show that these goons casually walked through the security cordon [maintained by Delhi police], kicked and broke the boom barrier, broke the CCTVs cameras with ‘lathis’, threw paint on the gate of the residence and almost climbed over the gate, while Delhi police personnel simply looked on, doing little to stop the protesters,” the plea said.
“In this case, the violence was especially egregious as it was directed towards the Delhi CM and his family. It was meant to subdue, by the use of force, the highest elected official in NCT of Delhi and therefore the elected government of Delhi. This was a direct attack on democracy,” the plea added.
The plea said that those who were charged with protection of the Delhi CM, that is, police, completely abdicated their duty, without any regard for the fact that they were protecting an elected constitutional functionary and the fact that he was given Z+ security by the police themselves.
Mr. Bhardwaj has sought for the constitution of an SIT headed by a retired Judge to undertake an independent, fair and time-bound criminal investigation into the attack, including the role of police officers who were responsible for maintaining the security cordon outside the Chief Minister’s residence.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 8:42:45 pm |