• Monday, June 24, 2024

INDIA

Arvind Kejriwal’s aide, accused of assaulting own party MP, arrested

Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriiwal (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

BIBHAV Kumar, an aide to the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, was arrested on Saturday (18) in connection with the alleged assault Swati Maliwal, a parliamentarian of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), even as the party claimed she was “blackmailed” by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of prime minister Narendra Modi as she faces a corruption case.

Kumar was picked up from the chief minister’s residence by a team of Delhi Police, a senior police officer said, a day after Maliwal recorded her statement before a magistrate at the Indian capital’s Tis Hazari court.

Maliwal, a former chairperson the Delhi Commission for Women, has alleged that Kejriwal’s aide attacked her with full force, slapping her in the face and kicking her in the chest and abdomen on May 13 when she had gone to meet the chief minister.

Read: Indian opposition MP and ex women rights body chief, allegedly assaulted by own party member

A senior police officer said Kumar was arrested from the chief minister’s residence on Saturday. The officer said Kumar had gone there in the morning to meet Kejriwal.

Aam Aadmi Party MP Swati Maliiwal
Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal (R) gestures during a press conference in New Delhi on January 31, 2018. (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

“He will be produced before a court and police will seek his custody for further interrogation,” the officer said.

Police said they have recorded the statement of at least 10 people, including security personnel and other staff at the chief minister’s residence, who were present at the time of the alleged assault on May 13.

Read: Huge relief for India’s opposition AAP as Kejriwal gets interim bail

Earlier in the day, Bibhav Kumar wrote to police, saying that he is ready to cooperate in their investigation, but they should also consider his complaint against Maliwal.

On Friday (17), Kumar filed a police complaint, alleging Maliwal breached the security of the CM’s residence to gain unauthorised entry on May 13 and created a ruckus there.

The CM’s aide also alleged that when he tried to stop her she hurled abuses at him.

Senior AAP leader Atishi addressed a press conference in New Delhi in which she said if the Delhi Police is impartial, it should also register a first information report (FIR) on Kumar’s complaint.

Talking to PTI Videos, Atishi claimed the former DCW chief faces arrest in an illegal recruitment case and she was “blackmailed” by the BJP to become part of a “conspiracy” against Kejriwal.

Atishi, who is also a cabinet minister in the Delhi government, alleged that Maliwal went to the chief minister’s official residence on Monday without an appointment.

“Why did she barge in? Why did she land up at the chief minister’s residence without an appointment? Arvind Kejriwal was busy that day and did not meet her. If he had met her that day, the allegations levelled against Bibhav Kumar could have been levelled against him,” Atishi said.

She said Maliwal was made the face of this “conspiracy” by the BJP.

“The BJP has a pattern. First they file cases and then threaten to send leaders to jail. Swati Maliwal is facing charges in an illegal recruitment case registered by the Anti-Corruption Branch. An FIR has been registered in the case and it is at a stage where she could be arrested.

“The BJP blackmailed Maliwal and made her the face of this conspiracy,” the AAP leader charged.

Meanwhile, another purported video of Maliwal from the day of the incident surfaced online.

In the video, a woman security personnel is seen holding Maliwal by her arm while escorting her out of Kejriwal’s residence. As they exit the main gate, Maliwal frees her arm from the security personnel’s grip.

Maliwal’s medical examination was conducted at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Friday. According to the medico-legal certificate (MLC), she has “bruises over proximal left leg dorsal aspect of approx size 3×2 cm and right cheek elbow below right eye of approx size 2×2 cm”

The BJP, meanwhile, accused AAP leaders of tarnishing Maliwal’s image by circulating “edited” videos.

Maliwal also attacked her party for dismissing as baseless her assault allegations against Bibhav Kumar, and said the AAP has given in under a “goon’s pressure” and is now questioning her character.

The AAP, Maliwal said, has made a “U-turn” two days after accepting that Kumar had “misbehaved” with her.

(With PTI inputs)

Related Stories

Loading