Ever since the Aam Aadmi Party formed its government in Delhi, the party and the government both have hogged the headlines for various reasons. On Saturday, another AAP MLA Sharad Chauhan was held by the police on charges of abetment to suicide, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence. Chauhan was the twelfth AAP MLA to be arrested ever since the party came to power in February 2015.
A week ago, two MLAs were arrested on the same day and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the arrests were a ‘proof’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘frustration.’ Earlier, the party had also claimed that Delhi Police was deliberately ‘targetting’ its MLAs. AAP’s Delhi unit convener, Dilip Pandey, alleged that police was ‘busy framing AAP MLAs in false cases’ and that ‘instructions are being given directly by the Union Home Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office to police to target AAP leaders.’
Here is the list of twelve MLAs who have been arrested on various charges since the AAP government came to power in February 2015.
Sharad Chauhan: The Narela MLA was arrested for abetting suicide of a party volunteer, who had alleged harassment and molestation by Chauhan’s aides. A Special Investigation Team, that had been set-up to investigate the murder, ordered for Chauhan’s arrest along with six others. Chauhan’s bail petition will come up in the court on Monday. Read more.
Naresh Yadav: The Mehrauli MLA was arrested on charges of desecrating the Holy Quran in Malerkatola, Punjab on June 24. Punjab Police said the main accused in the case, Vijay Kumar, allegedly carried out the incident at the behest of the AAP MLA. According to reports, Yadav has been charged under IPC sections 109, 153A, 295. The MLA is out on bail. Read more.
Amanatullah Khan: The AAP MLA from Okhla was arrested on the same day as Naresh Yadav on charges of intimidating a woman with rape and murder. The 35-year-old woman claimed that Khan threatened her with rape and murder when she went to complain to him about the power cuts in his constituency Okhla. According to the complaint, the woman was a former party worker. AAP had also released a video claiming that the Delhi Police had pressured the woman to make false statements against Amanatullah Khan. The MLA is currently out on bail. Read more.
Somnath Bharti: The former law minister was arrested by the Delhi Police in 2015 after his wife registered an attempt to murder and domestic violence case against him. Bharti dodged the arrest for a nearly a week before the party asked him to surrender and save the ’embarrassment.’ He was later granted bail. More recently, the AAP MLA was booked in July this year for allegedly instigating his supporters to misbehave with her. Read more.
Dinesh Mohaniya: The Sangam Vihar MLA was arrested on charges of molestation and sexual harassment. According to reports, a group of women had gone to complain about the water crisis in the locality when the alleged incident happened. Currently, the MLA is out on bail. Mohaniya was the former vice chairperson of the Delhi Jal Board. Read more.
Jitendra Singh Tomar: Former law minister, Tomar was arrested in 2015 in connection of having a fake degree and he spent month-and-a-half in Tihar jail. Speaking to the Indian Express, Tomar said that these are ‘minor things’ and his political career was far from over. Read more.
Prakash Jarwal: The Deoli MLA was also arrested on charges of molesting a woman in July this year. Reportedly, the victim said that she first approached the offices of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Delhi Police Commissioner before filing the FIR. Jarwal said he would ‘quit politics’ if there was any evidence against him in the case. He has earlier been arrested in May 2014 for allegedly slapping a Delhi Jal Board employee.
Commando Surinder Singh: The Delhi Cantonment MLA was arrested on August 21 for allegedly making casteist remarks against an NDMC official. The former NSG Commando had reportedly been trying to save a vegetable vendor from NDMC employees when the alleged altercation happened. Singh is currently out on bail.
Manoj Kumar: The Kondli MLA was arrested on July 10 last year in connection with a case of alleged cheating and land-grabbing and was granted bail later. Kumar also had to appear before the Delhi Commission of Women in a case of domestic violence.
Akhilesh Tripathi: The Model Town MLA was arrested on November 26 in a “rioting” case. Tripathi was later acquitted in the rioting case after witnesses allegedly turned hostile. Read here.
Mahendra Yadav: The Vikaspuri MLA too was arrested on January 29 in a case of “rioting” and assaulting a public servant. He was later granted bail by a Delhi Court.
Jagdeep Singh: The Hari Nagar MLA was arrested on May 30 on charges of assault. Singh had allegedly beaten up manager of waste management company. He was later granted bail since it was a bailable offence.