The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to fix responsibility of Delhi Police officials in the case of a 17-year-old girl’s death at a police post in West Delhi, calling it a “custodial death”.

The girl allegedly committed suicide at the Tilak Vihar police where she had come on 15 July in connection with a tiff with family over her friendship with a 21-year-old youth, according to the police.

Senior AAP leader Atishi Marlena said the Delhi Police was “clearly at fault”, and questioned why the minor girl was at the Tilak Vihar police outpost past midnight.

“Purely a custodial death and Delhi Police and LG must own responsibility for it,” she said at a press conference.

The girl’s mother was present at the press conference.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too hit out at the ruling BJP for the “deteriorating” law and order situation. “Law and order in the capital of India is deteriorating by the day. BJP has completely failed,” he tweeted.

The Delhi Police reports to the Union Home Ministry and the AAP government wants the department to come under it.

The police claimed law and order was “under control” in Delhi. In a tweet, the Delhi Police posted: “Law and order in National Capital is under control. The years 2018 & 2017 have seen reduction in Heinous Crimes as compared to earlier years. Similarly there is substantial reduction in Street crime & detection rate of heinous crimes has also improved.”

According to the police, however, the girl committed suicide as she was afraid of her family members who were against her friendship with a 21-year-old man. She had reached the police post around 2.30 am on July 15, where both families were present, they said.

“It is clarified that the girl had come to police post on her own at around 2:30AM. At that time, her family members were also at the PP and continued to be in the PP until this unfortunate incident happened.

“Enquiry by Learned Judicial Magistrate is on…,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Vijay Kumar said on Twitter tagging the handles of CM Arvind Kejriwal and the Lieutenant General’s office.

On Monday, the NHRC issued a notice to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik in connection with the girl’s death and sought a detailed report.

Sub-inspector Parvesh Kaushik, in-charge of the Tilak Vihar outpost, and woman constable Manmohan Kaur were sent to district lines for alleged negligence of duty. Assistant sub-inspector Sushil Kumar, the investigating officer, and duty writer head constable K Badhoriya have been suspended.

According to the police, the girl had told them that she did not want to be with her family as she was afraid. The police said while they were planning to send her to a ‘nari niketan’, a relative of her male friend came there and alleged that he was beaten up by the girl’s family.

Around 30 people were present there, according to the police.

While the officials tried to pacify them, the girl locked herself in a room inside the police post and hanged herself using her dupatta.

AAP legislator from Tilak Nagar, Jarnail Singh, however, claimed the girl and her brother were locked in separate rooms by police due to which she got “scared” and hanged herself.

“Brother of the girl was threatened by the other party at the police post. She protested it after which police locked her up and her brother in separate rooms. Scared and anguished, she hanged herself,” he said.

Singh said, “It is a complete failure and negligence of police. Home Minister Rajnath Singh needs to fix responsibility in the incident.”

Delhi AAP women’s wing president Richa Pandey regretted that no concrete action had been taken against the police post in-charge.

The police said action would be taken after a report of the magisterial inquiry was submitted.

(With agency inputs)