New Delhi, Dec 24: There should be a limit on demands, thundered Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday as he justified police brutality on public at India Gate on Sunday.
Clearly the home minister is sending a message that the government is not going to give any more concessions and not willing to accept any further demands.
The government is also moving away from the bigger issue of secure atmosphere for women in India; instead, it is now talking only on the Delhi rape case and accepting accolades on it.
Speaking to various electronic media, Shinde appeared to bracket angry protesters at India Gate with armed Maoists. "It is very easy to ask the Home Minister to go to India Gate and talk. Tomorrow if any other party's demonstration goes on why should not the Home Minister go there. Tomorrow Congress and BJP will demonstrate, tomorrow Maoists will come here to demonstrate with weapons," he said.
Shinde said people should understand the government's role and the government should not go anywhere. "This will happen tomorrow, for any government. Why should the government go anywhere?" he said.
Asked whether he was trying to compare the protesters with the Maoists, the Home Minister said, "You don't separate it from law and order. I have already talked about it....Since the day they started the agitation, I had met them in my house, in my office...I met their representatives."
"After doing all these if they say we want justice what kind of justice will we give? There should be some limit, we have accepted all the demands," he said. This is very significant as the agitation forced quick movement on the Delhi rape case but other issues concerning the safety of women have not been discussed or any agenda been set. The issue is likely to be discussed in a routine meeting of Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of all states on Jan 4 to take stock of the crime against women.
Shinde also justified the police crackdown, saying that some hooligans and 'goondas' had entered the crowd following which the action was taken.
"Hooligans and goondas had joined the protesters and were damaging public property and pelting stones, after which the police took the action," he tried to explain off the police brutality.
The Home Minister told a news channel, "The protesters had marched right up to the North Block and were trying to move into the Rashtrapati Bhawan, had this happened then you would have criticised me."
He further informed that a probe has been ordered into the violence at the India Gate. When asked about the identification of the miscreants who had joined the protests, he said, "In a crowd of three thousand people it is hard to identify such people."
Incorrect Mr Shinde. A good look at the television footage will reveal the face of hooligans, who according to the minister are spoiling the image of the country. If a minister is worried about the image and not about the values of life, there is every justification to continue with the agitation.