CCTV row intensifies, officers to defy minister's order (Roundup)

Delhi government officials held a meeting of a committee on installation of CCTVs in the city and would continue doing so despite Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia declaring that the committee formed by the Central government-appointed Lt. Governor Anil Baijal was "unconstitutional and void".

Sisodia on Thursday termed the committee as "illegal and unconstitutional" while Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Satyendar Jain wrote to the Lt. Governor asking him to "stay away from the project".

Lt. Governor-appointed head of the committee, Home Department Principal Secretary Manoj Parida, told IANS that "they would go ahead with the meetings" and that another meeting would be held next week.

Jain also wrote to Parida on Friday, asking him not to go ahead with the meetings of the committee, Parida said.

Sisodia earlier said the committee was formed "without consulting the elected government" and it was a "conspiracy to stop the work on CCTVs".

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing Baijal of interfering in his government's functioning and urged Modi to order Baijal to allow implementation of the CCTV project.

Kejriwal also expressed the wish to meet the Prime Minister to inform him about the alleged disruptions caused by the L-G.

On Tuesday, Baijal formed the committee to come up with a standard operating procedure for the installation, operation and monitoring of closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs).

"I got a letter from the minister (Jain) at around 6.30 p.m. (on Friday) stating that it is a transferred matter and asking to not go ahead with the meetings," Parida told IANS.

But the meeting had already taken place around 1 p.m., he added.

Parida said the committee deals with the "security aspect of CCTVs" and "Lt. Governor is the head of security".

"I consider the L-G's order as valid. We will hold the next meeting during next week," he said.

The Law Secretary, two police officers of Special Commissioner of Police and Joint Commissioner level were among other officers who attended the meeting.

Parida said Jain attached the letter he wrote to the Lt. Governor on Thursday, along with letter written to him on Friday.

A Delhi government spokesperson told IANS: "Officers are reporting directly to the L-G bypassing the elected government and this is being done to scuttle the CCTV project, which is of utmost importance to women's and public safety."

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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