In an unprecedented move, the Delhi Police detained Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia at different locations on Wednesday after they tried to meet the family of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday.
After being restrained from leaving Lady Hardinge Hospital premises — where he wanted to meet Grewal’s family members — for close to four hours on Wednesday, Kejriwal was ‘formally detained’ by the police and whisked taken to R K Puram police station around 7.30 pm. The chief minister was accompanied by his personal secretary, Bibhav Kumar, and media advisor Arunoday Prakash. He was released late in the night.
Kejriwal, who sat in the front seat of his Innova in the hospital premises for hours in the evening, said, “I don’t understand why anybody would stop me from meeting the family of the soldier. This is not politics. As chief minister, it’s my duty. But the BJP fears that it will be exposed.” He said that he had spoken to the son of the deceased subhedar Ram Kishan Grewal over the phone and had come to know that the family was manhandled by the police.
AAP government’s labour minister Gopal Rai was also detained along with Kejriwal — first at Lady Hardinge and later at R K Puram police station — said, “The elected CM of a state is being being detained in this manner. Have you ever seen anything like this?”
Kejriwal said, “This is hooliganism and dictatorship. They (BJP) said they carried our surgical strikes and sought votes on account on the bravery of our soldiers. But they did not implement OROP. They cut down on the disability pension of ex-servicemen. This is how they treat our soldiers. The PM has lied to the country. He must apologise.”
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was also detained at Parliament Street police station for nearly seven hours after he met the family of the deceased at RML Hospital.
After Kejriwal was brought to R K Puram, AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh and Dilip Pandey arrived with other AAP MLAs, volunteers, a microphone and speaker in tow.
Minutes after his release, Sisodia joined other AAP leaders outside R K Puram police station in the protest against the chief minister’s detention.
They sat outside the police station beyond police barricades shouting slogans of ‘Tanashahi nahi chalegi’, ‘Modi teri khul gayi pol, halla bol, halla bol’ and ‘goondagardi ki sarkar, nahi chalegi’.
Tuesday, 1.09 pm: Grewal consumed poison near Jawahar Bhawan in Delhi Lutyens Zone. He dies at 5.30 pm at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
Wednesday, 11 am: AAP MLA Commando Surender Singh reaches RML hospital.
1 pm: Special Commissioner of Police M K Meena, DCP Jatin Narwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Kumar Gyanesh arrive, try to convince AAP leaders and family members to leave the premises.
1.30 pm: Deputy CM Manish Sisodia reaches hospital, starts talking to Grewal’s son. Two policemen request Sisodia to leave. More officers join them and shove Sisodia and Singh inside a police bus, take them to Parliament Street Police station.
2.15 pm: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi arrives at RML. He tries to enter but police do not let him in.
2.30 pm: Surjewal, AAP MLA Kiran Chaudhary and Grewal’s family members taken to Mandir Marg police station, later shifted to Connaught Place police station; Gandhi released.
3 pm: CM Arvind Kejriwal reaches Lady Hardinge Hospital. Police barricade entry. CM hears family is detained at Connaught Place police station. He tries to leave but police do not let him go.
5 pm: Gandhi, along with other senior leaders, march towards Connaught Place. They are detained and taken to Tilak Marg police station.
7.15 pm: CM taken to R K Puram police station, kept till late evening.
8.30 pm: All leaders detained at various police stations released except Kejriwal.