The chaos in the capital came to an end on Tuesday as the central government struck a compromise with agitating Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and sent two police officers on leave pending judicial investigations against them.
The news of a breakthrough brought relief to thousands of harassed commuters and also to hundreds of protestors braving chilly winters in the high security zone near Parliament House.
On behalf of the Centre, Delhi’s lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung held talks with Kejriwal and his team in the Rail Bhavan, near where he was sitting on dharna.
The station house officer (SHO) of Malviya Nagar police station and the PCR van in-charge of the area where the Danish woman was gang raped were sent on leave pending investigation. But the SHO of Sagarpur area was spared because two days ago he arrested those accused of burning a young woman.
While announcing the end of the dharna to his supporters in the evening, Kejriwal thanked Jung.
He termed it a victory of the people of Delhi. “Today’s decision” is a first step towards making the Delhi police accountable to the people of Delhi, he said. “We will continue with our efforts to achieve full statehood and try to bring the Delhi police under the Delhi government.”
Kejriwal said he would not shy away from taking any similar action in future if needed.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal’s supporters clashed with the police, trying to break the barricade and enter the protest venue. After ending the dharna, he said: “We condemn today’s incident where several of our volunteers, a policeman and journalist were injured.”
The breakthrough came after the prime minister discussed the matter with top government officials after a meeting between cabinet secretary Ajit Seth, IB director Asif Ibrahim, home secretary Anil Goswami and Delhi police commissioner Bhimsen Bassi.
The BJP was livid. “It is a theatre of the absurd enacted by the AAP and the Congress,” said party leader Arun Jaitley. “Thank god, it is over. India doesn’t deserve it, Delhi doesn’t deserve it.”