AAP creates chaos outside jail

Kejriwal supporters reach Tihar after court sends him behind bars

Chaos broke outside Tihar Jail after AAP supporters and leaders thronged the site in protest against Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest.

On Wednesday evening, the AAP chief was sent to two-day judicial custody for not submitting a Rs 10,000 bond in the Nitin Gadkari defamation case.

Party leaders Sanjay Singh, Manish Sisodia, Jarnail Singh and dozens of supporters were detained for violating Section 144 of the CrPC, which prevents unlawful assembly. It was imposed by police after protests erupted at 7 pm.  

Kejriwal on Wednesday was first sent to a lock-up at the court complex before being taken in a police van to Tihar Jail.

“I am fighting corruption. I will not seek bail as I have done nothing wrong,” Kejriwal told Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha, refusing to furnish the bond. The judge then ordered his judicial custody.

He will be produced before the court on Friday.  Kejriwal’s decision not to furnish the bond is in keeping with his earlier stand, senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia said.

“It is surprising that the court decided to send Kejriwal to judicial custody despite his lawyers expressing readiness to submit an undertaking that he will be present in court on each date of hearing,” the AAP in a statement.

The party said courts have accepted the undertakings given by Kejriwal in similar cases and did not insist on a bail bond, adding that he was indicted in three other defamation cases.

The judge had asked, “What is the problem in furnishing a bail bond? You are representing the Aam Aadmi Party. I request you to behave as an aam aadmi.”
“This not a case where the accused, due to financial inability, is unable to furnish bail bond. The accused is just adamant not to furnish bail bond or even a personal bond,” the court said.

The sudden development came just after Kejriwal offered his first public apology for abruptly resigning as Delhi chief minister on February 14 and sought fresh elections in the capital.

On Kejriwal’s refusal of furnishing the bail bond, rival parties said it was an attempt to catch media attention.

City Congress spokesperson Mukesh Sharma took a jibe at Kejriwal: “Is he a freedom fighter who has been jailed?”

Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan also accused Kejriwal of misleading people. Earlier, as soon as news of Kejriwal’s arrest spread, hundreds of AAP workers with supporters from Janakpuri, Sagarpur and adjacent areas gathered at gate number three of Tihar Jail.

Senior AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla, Ashutosh, Prashant Bhushan along with party MLAs also protested against BJP and Delhi Police.

“Ek gaali ke liye jail kyu (why arrest for one abuse)?” the protesters shouted.

Three-four companies of Delhi Police and paramilitary force were deployed at the spot to avoid any untoward incident.

“Police took at least a couple of hours to control the law and order situation. Any gathering of five or more persons on the roads leading to Tihar Jail and near the premises is not permitted,” a police official said.

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