Ashutosh, Shazia Ilmi taken for questioning over clashes with BJP

Aam Aadmi Party leader taken to the Parliament Street police station for questioning in connection with violence clashes outside the Bharatiya Janata Party office in Delhi on Wednesday.(Express Photo: Amit Mehra) AAP  leader taken to the Parliament Street police station for questioning in connection with violence clashes outside the BJP office in Delhi.  (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

AAP leaders Ashutosh and Shazia Ilmi, booked for rioting and damaging public property during clashes with BJP workers, have been brought for questioning by Delhi Police.

Ilmi, who was picked up by a team of women police personnel from her Greater Kailash residence, was brought to Parliament Street Police station for questioning, police said.

Journalist-turned politician Ashutosh, picked up from AAP’s Model Town office, is on his way to the Parliament Street police station. AAP leader and former Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti has also reached the police station.

An FIR was lodged last night at Parliament Street Police station against Ilmi and Ashutosh and other AAP volunteers in connection with clashes outside BJP headquarters. Police had initially detained 33 people out of which 14 were arrested late last night while others were allowed to go. A local court granted bail to those 14 AAP volunteers this afternoon.

“All those identifiable and present at the protest site have been named in the FIR,” a senior Delhi Police official said.
Around 28 people, including 13 AAP activists and 10 BJP supporters, were injured in the clashes, police said.

Ilmi accused the Delhi Police of targeting the AAP and wondered why no action was being taken against BJP activists. “Yesterday, we got to see the discrimination of Delhi Police, which joined BJP to disperse AAP supporters staging silent protest. Police could not see bricks, stones and chairs being thrown from the inside of BJP Headquarter… They could only see people much later retaliating. Police were protecting BJP supporters,” Ilmi claimed.

Police have termed the AAP protest as completely illegal as no prior permission was sought by the party. Ashutosh also accused Delhi Police of bias against AAP workers. “AAP supporters were injured in the clash. BJP leaders beat up our supporters. Delhi Police takes action when flower pots at BJP office were damaged but they didn’t take action when our supporters were injured,” he claimed. Police said they have got the entire sequence of events videographed. Senior officials said more arrests are likely in the case.

Here are the highlights:

# After Ashutosh, Shazia Ilmi taken away for questioning over clashes between AAP and BJP supporters on Wednesday.

# AAP supporters blocking the police vehicle.

# Somnath Bharti says AAP will file FIR against BJP workers over Wednesday’s clashes.

# Meanwhile, the 14 AAP workers arrested in connection with yesterday’s clashes granted bail.

# Delhi Police reach AAP leader Shazia Ilmi’s residence for questioning her over clashes between her party and BJP supporters on Wednesday.

# AAP leader Ashutosh accompanies Delhi Police for investigations over AAP-BJP clashes, says I am a law abiding citizen of India…I will fully cooperate.

# Ashutosh appeals AAP supporters not to indulge into violence, maintain peace.

# Delhi Police reach AAP’s office to arrest Ashutosh.

# Election Commission issues notice to AAP for holding protests.

# The AAP is gearing up to file a complaint with the Election Commission against the saffron party, AAP’s media coordinator Deepak Bajpai said.

# According to Bajpai, the party is also mulling filing a police complaint against the BJP supporters.

# Ilmi accused the Delhi Police of targeting the AAP and wondered why no action was being taken against BJP activists.

# Ashutosh also accused Delhi police of bias against AAP workers.

# AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday apologised for his party workers’ behaviour in Delhi and Lucknow while protesting his “detention” and urged them to stick to non-violence.

# Fourteen AAP members were arrested after Delhi Police registered an FIR in connection with the clashes.

# Police had initially detained 33 people out of which 14 were arrested late last night while others were allowed to go.

AAP workers had on Wednesday clashed with BJP activists outside the saffron party headquarters in Delhi and Lucknow after Arvind Kejriwal’s car was damaged in Gujarat in retaliation to protests against his brief detention in the state. 28 people, including 13 AAP activists and 10 BJP supporters, were injured in the clashes, police said.

Clashes began after Kejriwal was briefly detained in Gujarat as he began a four-day tour to “assess” development in Narendra Modi’s home state. Around 3 pm, when he was at his third stop at Radhanpur in Patan district, he was taken to the police station for an alleged violation of the model code of conduct.

Senior AAP leaders including Ashutosh and Anand Kumar — both candidates in the Lok Sabha elections — former Delhi minister Rakhi Birla, and Shazia Ilmi too joined the protest. Ilmi denied that AAP supporters were responsible for the violence, and said the protest was a reaction to the detention of Kejriwal in Gujarat.

Police had termed the AAP protest as completely illegal as no prior permission was sought in this connection by the party.

Police have also got the entire sequence of events videographed and senior officials said that more arrests are possible after identification in the video footage.

(With PTI inputs)