AAP agitation at Delhi park that celebrates martyrs | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

AAP agitation at Delhi park that celebrates martyrs

Mar 24, 2024 01:54 AM IST

For the first time after Kejriwal’s arrest, all AAP leaders were seen on the same platform at the Shaheedi Park on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.

Delhi government ministers and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann observed Shaheedi Diwas on Saturday and called on people to come out in support of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

RAF personnel at Shaheedi Park on Saturday. (ANI)
RAF personnel at Shaheedi Park on Saturday. (ANI)

Shaheedi Diwas is observed on March 23 to honour freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar, who were hanged on this day by the British.

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For the first time after Kejriwal’s arrest, all Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, including Delhi ministers Atishi, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Kailash Gahlot, Gopal Rai, Raj Kumar Anand and Imran Hussain, were seen on the same platform at the Shaheedi Park on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.

Speaking to the AAP supporters who gathered at the venue, Mann said that the BJP is trying to murder democracy in the country.

“Just as Bhagat Singh fought against the British, people of the country should fight against corruption now. Internationally, people are discussing that democracy is in danger in our country. In every state where BJP cannot form the government, it does not let the government run and function properly, be it Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Delhi or West Bengal,” said Mann.

He added that the country belongs to its people, and no single party or person can claim right over it. “We are here today to pay our respects to the contributions of leaders such as Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, and we will stand against leaders who consider themselves even bigger than Bhagat Singh. They consider their personalities to be so big, that for the Republic Day parade, they rejected the Punjab tableau comprising Bhagat Singh,” said Mann.

Congress leader Haroon Yusuf also expressed solidarity by taking part in the protest. The Congress and AAP have agreed on a seat sharing arrangement in Delhi for the Lok Sabha elections. Out of the seven parliamentary seats in Delhi, AAP will contest from four seats, while Congress has fielded its contestants on three seats.

Haroon Yusuf, a former Delhi cabinet minister from Congress, said, “The INDIA alliance is together with full strength. The way attempts are being made to strangle democracy, all alliance partners are standing together to fight it with full force.”

However, no other INDIA bloc member was spotted at the event.

Following Kejriwal’s arrest, the AAP announced that party workers will refrain from celebrating Holi on Monday and also scheduled its protests for the next few days. According to the schedule, the AAP will protest against the arrest while observing Shaheedi Diwas at the Shaheedi Park on Saturday and will burn Prime Minister Narendra Modi in effigy on Sunday morning for Holika Dahan. The protests will continue on Tuesday as the AAP plans to gherao the Prime Minister’s residence.

Mann also asked the party workers to march from Shaheedi Park to the AAP’s party office at Rouse Avenue on DDU Marg, nearly 1.5 km away.

However, police stopped the senior AAP leaders who then left the spot in their vehicles. But some party workers continued to raise slogans and insisted on carrying on with the march and were detained by the police.

A gathering at a park cannot be stopped, but the political march was not allowed as no permission was sought for it, said police.

A senior police officer aware of the sequence of events said, “Police are not mandated to stop anyone visiting a park. We were also informed that because of Shaheedi Divas, those attending the event will pay homage to Bhagat Singh and leave without any protest, march or agitation. But during the event, the march was announced, and hundreds of people started to walk towards DDU Marg, after which we barricaded the road at ITO intersection and stopped people from heading forward,” said the officer.

Another officer said that some people staged protest by sitting on the road outside Shaheedi Park to create a blockade, but were removed from the spot and detained.

Deputy commissioner of police (central) Harsha Vardhan said that nearly 18 people were detained and released later.

Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said that a large number of states and Union Territories have non-BJP governments, but nowhere such confrontation exists as it is seen in Delhi.

“Here in Delhi, it is not just the issue of political differences between the AAP and BJP, but it is the issue of BJP raising the issue of AAP’s constant indulgence in corruption, which aggravates the political tension. It is sad that Mann has issued a petty political statement to defend the Delhi’s liquor scam accused, Kejriwal, on a day when over 25 people have died after consuming spurious liquor in Punjab,” said Kapoor.

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