Protest against corruption is not rioting, says Kejriwal

Social activist Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said he is ready to face any punishment if the government thinks that he was provoking people to riot during his call to gherao the Prime Minister’s residence on August 26.

Along with Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai, Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh, Kejriwal had come to Parliament Street police station to record statements on the allegations.

He had asked police to record their statement before a magistrate but it could not be arranged. A statement under section 161 of the CrPC was recorded though.

Kejriwal alleged that police were harassing protesters who had come to support him that day.

“We have said that whatever we did on August 26 was for the country. If it is a crime according to the government, we are ready to face punishment. But we will continue to hold protest,” Kejriwal told reporters.

“If you mean that fighting against corruption means breaking the law, then we have broken the law and we will keep breaking this law,” said Kejriwal. He added that they had sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday and police should consider it as their confession cum statement.

In the letter, the activists said they were admitting they have violated prohibitory orders and they will continue to do so in fighting corruption.

“We have been accused of rioting and provoking it. If you ask people, they will tell that it is Congress and BJP that are spreading riots in the country. But if according to your law, we are rioting, then admit our guilt and we are ready to face punishment,” he said.

Five cases of rioting have been registered against Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia, Kumar Vishas, Gopal Rai and several unknown people for their protest against alleged scam in coal block allocation.

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