NEW DELHI -- Two Delhi Police constables and an ex-cop have filed defamation complaints against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal after he referred to police officials as "thullas" — a derogatory word denoting slowness and inefficiency.
Constables Ajjay Kumar Taneja and Harvinder have independently complained of defamation by Kejriwal after he told a leading news channel that his government would go after "thullas" who indulged in corruption. Ex-policeman Kapoor Singh Chhikara too lodged a complaint.
The separate police complaints were lodged in Lajpat Nagar, Govindpuri, and Dabri police stations in the city.
"I respect Arvind Kejriwal. I didn't expect such words from him," Harvinder told IANS. In his complaint, he said that it had mentally affected him and he couldn't sleep at night. Another complainant, Chhikara, told NDTV, "Not just as policemen, but we as Delhi citizens are upset over the comment."
The incident took place last week when Kejriwal was speaking to India Today's Rajdeep Sardesai during an hour-long interview conducted in Hindi.
He was speaking in the context of his government's disagreements with the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. "If a Delhi Police thulla tries to take money from some hawkers, I don't agree that we will not take action," he had said. "The poor have given us votes. Now if a slum dweller comes and tells me cops are taking a bribe from him, or even some government official, the ACB will register a case."
"I haven't seen the interview," said Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi had said last week. "But if he did indeed say so, it's obscene, derogatory, and uncivilised."
He said he could not believe any person would use such a word.
"I believe all institutions and instrumentalities of the state must have respect for each other. There can be nation-building only when we have mutual respect for each other. I refuse to believe that the honourable chief minister has said any word of this sort," Bassi said.
The commissioner said it was a non-cognizable offence, which Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) Mandeep Singh Randhawa confirmed as well. "These are personal remarks," said Bassi. "It was a derogatory word, but a non-cognizable offence (police can't act without a warrant or court order), so there is no FIR."
However, at least one FIR has been lodged in the case, on the basis of Taneja's complaint. A case under section 500 IPC (defamation) has been registered, a copy of which has been seen by HuffPost India.
Meanwhile, DCP North Delhi Madhur Verma too aimed a sarcastic tweet about Kejriwal's choice of words.
One of our so called 'Thu**a' who rescued 4 yr old Khushbu from Kamla Nagar & reunited with her mother!! pic.twitter.com/mad7fBnjJ2— Madhur Verma (@DCP_North_Delhi) July 19, 2015