The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government has decided to withdraw DTC buses on special hire to various departments. These low-floor vehicles are extensively used for movement of police and paramilitary personnel for deployment in various parts of the city, and their removal might affect the security cover at and near the farmers' protest locations. Nearly 10% of the 3,700 DTC buses are presently under special hire.
"All the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses on special hire have been decided to be withdrawn with immediate effect. It has also been decided by the authorities that approval of the government will be required now before requisition of buses under special hire," a government official said.
Amid the farmers protests, several buses in Delhi had become the unfortunate casualties of the agitators' fury. As the Republic Day tractor rally in the national capital turned violent, some DTC buses had been used by police and security personnel to block the roads. This unfortunately was not enough of a deterrent for a section of protesters, and visuals showed them attacking the vehicles.
Now, the vehicles are back in news headlines, coinciding with the recent deployment of a massive number of of police and paramilitary personnel on borders of the city. Barricades with barbed wires have been put up, and walls constructed to deter the protesting farmers.
But as the AAP government moves to revoke access to the buses, BJP leaders appear to be incensed. "If you burn Delhi, you get votes in Punjab," wrote BJP MP Gautam Gambhir, alleging that the Delhi Chief Minister wanted "anarchy".
"Delhi Govt under @ArvindKejriwal withdraws DTC buses given to Police & para military forces for bandobust duty . Delhiites will suffer for the Punjab aspirations of @AamAadmiParty . Anarchists indeed," tweeted BJP National Secretary BL Santhosh.
"India has a history of brave patriots from Prithvi Raj Chauhan to APJ Kalam & also has a history of Jaichand to Mir Jaffar. Recent action by Arvind Kejriwal to deny DTC bus services to police is a case in point which proves his anarchist credentials in support of Delhi seizure (sic)," tweeted BJP MP from New Delhi, Meenakshi Lekhi.