press trust of india
New Delhi, 26 July:
The foundation stone laying ceremony for the proposed new headquarters of Delhi Police was marred by a controversy when Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Chief Guest of the event, skipped the function.
“It (the building) still has not been given its environmental and height clearances, among others. Home Ministry officials suggested I should not go there,” he told reporters here minutes after cancelling the visit to the function at Jai Singh Marg near Connaught Place.
Immediately after the function, Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar rushed to North Block where he had to wait for more than 45 minutes before Mr Shinde gave him an audience. Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami was also present in the meeting.
“The Home Minister had accepted the invitation to lay the foundation stone. But later, he refused to come. So, we have only done bhoomi pujan and have not laid the foundation stone. Someone in his ministry told the Home Minister that it would not be correct going there,” Mr Kumar said later.
Mr Shinde is said to be upset with the Delhi Police chief over mishandling of protests in the wake of the 16 December gangrape in the city. The vandalisation by protesters of Mr Shinde&’s official residence made matters worse. An inquiry was held into this incident after which “displeasure” was recorded in the annual confidential reports of senior police officers.