Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and members, who had planned to protest outside the houses of Home Minister Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Sunday, were detained by the police. AAP’s protest was against alleged corruption amounting to Rs 2,500 crore in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Rajinder Nagar MLA Raghav Chadha was detained soon after stepping out of his home. He was going to protest outside Shah’s house, while Kalkaji MLA Atishi was detained from outside the L-G House.
AAP’s allegation is that the North Corporation waived off Rs 2,500 crore in rent over the years that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation owed to it, despite struggling to pay staff for several months. The corporations have refuted the allegation. Mayors of the three municipal corporations, meanwhile, continue their protest outside the CM house for the seventh day.
Atishi, along with six AAP councillors, arrived at the L-G’s residence at Civil Lines in the morning, but was unable to reach the gates due to police barricades.
When the group was not allowed to proceed, they raised slogans demanding a CBI inquiry. Shortly after, she and the rest of the group were dragged away from the area by police and detained at Mukherjee Nagar police station before being released within the next hour.
After being released, Atishi told The Indian Express, “We had gone to meet the L-G, who we have written to, but we were unable to get an appointment. Instead of meeting us, there was heavy police deployment, and we were detained. The question is, who is the L-G trying to protect? Workers and doctors are not being paid salaries, as that money has gone into the pocket of the BJP.”
“This is probably the largest scam in Delhi’s history — and we want a CBI inquiry into it. But the way they reacted, it seems like the scam extends all the way to the top level of leadership,” she claimed.
Along with Chadha, Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha, Kirari MLA Rituraj Jha and Kondli MLA Kuldeep Kumar were also detained.
“The moment I stepped out of my house, Delhi Police officers made me sit in their car and took me to Rajinder Nagar police station. The detention was completely illegal… There was no provision to detain us; when we asked why we are being detained, they said it is because Section 144 is in place, which prevents assembly of more than four people. But only four of us were going to protest,” said Chadha.
On Saturday, he had sought permission for the protest, which was denied by police.
DCP (Central) Sanjay Bhatia said, “We detained Raghav Chadha when he was going for protest without permission. We released him after two hours.”
DCP (North) Anto Alphonse said, “We had detained Atishi and her supporters. They were released after two hours.”
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