AAP holds protest near BJP headquarters, demands Kejriwal's release

AAP party worker being detained during a protest against the arrest of party convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, in New Delhi.
AAP party worker being detained during a protest against the arrest of party convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, in New Delhi.

New Delhi | AAP leaders and workers held a protest on Saturday near the BJP's headquarters on DDU Marg to demand the release of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is currently in judicial custody.

A court here on Saturday sent Kejriwal to judicial custody till July 12 in a corruption case related to the alleged excise scam. He was formally arrested by the CBI three days back. Previously, he was arrested by the ED in a money-laundering case linked to the policy. He was recently granted bail by a trial court that was stayed by Delhi High Court.

Holding placards, the protesters assembled at the AAP office which is located near the BJP's headquarters on DDU Marg and raised slogans against the saffron party. Their placards called for an end to "dictatorship" and the "misuse" of the central agencies.

AAP held protests in several parts of the country during the day against Kejriwal's arrest. The main protest was in the national capital. The party's top leaders, including national general secretary (organisation) Sandeep Pathak, national general secretary Pankaj Gupta, Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai and city government ministers Atishi and Imran Hussain, attended the protest here.

The protesters squatted on the road when police stopped them from marching.

Rai said the BJP wants to keep Kejriwal in prison by any means but even if it tries a million times, he will walk out one day.

"People of the country had faith that Modi government would change after the election but it wants to continue its dictatorship," he said, alleging that the BJP harbours "hatred against Kejriwal because he is considered a hero for his achievements".

Rai questioned the BJP why Kejriwal was arrested by the CBI even after he was granted bail by a trial court.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said the decision of Rouse Avenue court to send Kejriwal to 14 days of judicial custody means that the law is doing its work and the court is giving its verdict based on the evidence presented by the investigating agency.

"The AAP is protesting to save a corrupt person to divert the attention of Delhiites from the waterlogging mess in Delhi due to the rain," he charged.

Pathak said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) staged widespread protests across India to vehemently oppose the "illegal arrest" of the Delhi chief minister and condemn the central government for "misusing" investigative agencies.

"In a show of solidarity, AAP members and supporters gheraoed BJP offices in 21 states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Gujarat," he said.

AAP workers were detained in several parts of the country. The purpose behind this nationwide protest was to give out the message that the country will be run by the Constitution, not by dictatorship, the AAP leader said.

Gupta said the whole country has seen how democracy and the Constitution have been strangled for the last few years.

"A week ago, the trial court granted bail to Arvind Kejriwal, saying that the ED has no evidence against him. However, the ED did not listen to the court and went to the high court and got a stay even before the written order came. This has never happened before in the history of the judiciary," he claimed.

Despite being unwell after a five-day hunger strike that led to her hospitalisation, Delhi minister Atishi also attended the protest.

According to a senior police officer, arrangements were made to stop the protesters from marching towards the BJP headquarters since no permission was taken for the protest.

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