Mrs Indira Gandhi was arrested in Delhi on charges of misuse of authority and corruption. Four of Mrs Gandhi’s former ministers — K.D. Malaviya, H.R. Gokhale, P.C. Sethi and D.P. Chattopadhyaya — have also been arrested by the CBI. The government also announced the arrest of B.B. Vohra, petroleum secretary, and S. Aggarwal, former communications secretary, and prominent industrialists like R.P. Goenka and M.V. Arunachalam and Jit Paul of the Apeejay company. Mrs Gandhi is allegedly involved in two cases, both under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act. In the first case, she has been accused of entering into a criminal conspiracy and abusing official position along with Sethi and five others to procure jeeps for the election campaign in various parliamentary constituencies. The second case involving Mrs Gandhi relates to the contract entered into between the ONGC and the French oil company, CFP, for obtaining the consultancy services of CFP for Phase III of the Bombay High off-shore drilling operations.
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said that her arrest was a “political one” and intended to prevent her from going to the people. The following is the text of her statement: “I have tried to serve our people and our country to the best of my ability. No matter what the charge or charges now made against me, this arrest is a political one. It is to prevent me from going to the people. It is an attempt to discredit me in their eyes and the eyes of the world…. We have offered our cooperation to the government in any programme for the welfare of the people. However, we cannot be silent spectators when we see suffering and injustice. If I cannot travel or draw attention to your multifarious problems, in mind I can and shall be with you all. So keep calm and peaceful but let no person or deed subdue your spirit and determination…”