26/07/2015 9:36 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

After Outrage, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Apologises For Calling Policemen 'Thulla'

Delhi state Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and leader of Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party attends a public meeting to mark the party’s 100 days government in the capital, in New Delhi, India, Monday, May 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

NEW DELHI—Days after the Delhi Police filed defamation complaints against Arvind Kejriwal after he referred to police officials as "thullas", the chief minister has apologised.

Kejriwal apologised for using slang ‘thulla’ against Delhi Police, saying it was not intended for “honest” personnel of the force.

'Thulla' is derogatory word denoting slowness and inefficiency.

Kejriwal said that he had used “thulla” word against those policemen who “harass” poor people for money, adding that strict action needs to be taken against such personnel.

READ: Arvind Kejriwal Refers To Cops As 'Thullas', Angers Police Commissioner

“I meant to say that policemen harass street vendors and poor people who supported us a lot and with their support, we won 67 seats. When people come to me and say cops harass them for money, it pains me. Action has to be taken against these police personnel. I used that word (thulla) against such policemen.

“If our honest police officers’ emotions got hurt by this word, I apologise to them for my remark (thulla),” Kejriwal told reporters.

Two Delhi Police constables and an ex-cop have filed defamation complaints against Kejriwal

READ: Delhi Police Constables Register Defamation Case Against Kejriwal

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."'

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