A day after AAP legislator from Okhla — Amanatullah Khan — resigned from all party and government posts, including his membership in the legislative assembly, over sexual harassment allegations, the party came out in his defence and refused to accept the resignation.
In the absence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister and AAP Political Affairs Committee member Manish Sisodia announced that the party has decided to “stand by Khan”, as it found the allegations “false and fabricated”.
Referring to the recent sacking of Punjab convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur and AAP minister Sandeep Kumar, Sisodia maintained that the AAP has “demonstrated that it will act swiftly against any misconduct and inappropriate behavior” but at the same time, the party will stand by its members who are “wrongfully targeted”.
Calling Khan a “victim of political conspiracy’, Sisodia said, “The allegations against Amanatullah relate to a six-year-old issue in his family in which he is not remotely involved and a trivial family dispute is being used for political gain. I have spoken to Kejriwal and it was decided that since he is a victim of a political conspiracy, the party stands by him and refuses to accept his resignation.”
Even as Delhi Police registered an FIR against Khan on Saturday, the AAP said the allegations against him had been verified and were found to be “false and fabricated”. “In the case of Amanatullah, as always, the party took the allegations seriously and ascertained all facts. We have concluded that the allegations are false and fabricated and there is clear evidence of deliberate conspiracy to malign the MLA and the party,” Sisodia told reporters at the party headquarters on Rouse Avenue.
“We would like to inform the public that, as Chairman of the Wakf Board, Amanatullah exposed how Wakf lands have been illegally occupied by BJP and Congress leaders. For this, he is now being targeted by the Lieutenant Governor, the Anti-Corruption Branch and the Delhi Police and this case is part of the continued conspiracy to embroil him in false cases. It seems Delhi Police have deployed a system whereby any passerby can make an allegation on an AAP member and however baseless the charge, Delhi Police will register a case and arrest the AAP member. Similarly, a few big editors are doing exactly the same thing and they promptly run any negative news on AAP without sparing a moment to verify it.”
Khan had been arrested in July on charges of threatening a 35-year-old woman with rape and murder. He was booked again on Saturday after a relative accused him of pressuring her to get into a physical relationship with him. Delhi Police on Sunday recorded the statement of the victim under Section 164 of CrPC.