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Kejriwal,protesters detained on way to Prime Minister’s residence

Arvind Kejriwal and about 100 activists,including physically challenged people,were detained on Friday as they marched towards the Prime Minister’s residence.

Arvind Kejriwal and about 100 activists,including physically challenged people,were detained on Friday as they marched towards the Prime Minister’s residence demanding the resignation of Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid over the alleged irregularities by an NGO run by him and his wife.

Kejriwal led activists from the India Against Corruption (IAC) and the Rashtriya Viklang Party to picket Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 7 Race Course Road residence,but the “fight to the finish” dharna on Janpath was over by 3 pm.

The protesters began marching at 11 am from Maajra Park on Janpath.

They were stopped at the Rajpath crossing,about 50 metres from where they began,as soon as Kejriwal announced that the dharna would end only after Khurshid’s resignation.

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Kejriwal announced that the day-long protest would now be an indefinite one until Khurshid resigns from the Cabinet. He also demanded the arrest of the Union minister and his wife Louise,who is the project director of the NGO,Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.

Waving the Tricolour and raising slogans,the protesters sat in front of barricades manned by a large posse of police personnel.

Kejriwal then told his supporters that “let’s make this place another Tahrir Square”,referring to the uprising in Egypt last year which led to the overthrowing of the Hosni Mubarak regime.

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Police intervened around 3 pm,asking the protesters to vacate the road as they were obstructing traffic.

Police told Kejriwal and his team that three-four activists would be allowed to visit the Prime Minister’s residence. However,the activists turned down the offer.

Soon,about four to five companies of policemen were pressed into action and the protesters,including Kejriwal,were detained.

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Kejriwal and other IAC leaders was bundled off to Bawana,while the supporters ended up at the Parliament Street police station. The IAC alleged that woman activists were manhandled.

“If we are released,we will march back to Parliament Street,” Kejriwal said at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Bawana.

The Kejriwal-led IAC had been maintaining that it was a protest programme by RVP and that they were just guests. But after Kejriwal’s detention,the IAC started sending text messages asking people to join the protest. Police said no permission was sought for the protest.

First published on: 13-10-2012 at 01:51 IST
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