Maliwal dismayed by AAP march to protest Bibhav Kumar arrest | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Maliwal dismayed by AAP march to protest Bibhav Kumar arrest

May 20, 2024 05:50 AM IST

The AAP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders engaged in a war of words, wherein Delhi ministers accused the Delhi Police of “selectively leaking false information” regarding the case, and the BJP alleged that the AAP was upset due to Kumar’s arrest as he was privy to “corruption scams” of the party

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha member Swati Maliwal on Sunday seemingly rapped her party for taking out a march to protest the arrest of Bibhav Kumar, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal secretary, who is alleged to have assaulted Maliwal at the CM’s residence on May 13, according to Maliwal’s social media post.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal led a protest march from the AAP office to the BJP headquarters on Sunday. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal led a protest march from the AAP office to the BJP headquarters on Sunday. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Swati Maliwal posted on X in Hindi: “There was a time when we all came out to the streets to get justice for Nirbhaya. Today, after 12 years, we are out on the streets to save the accused who made the CCTV footage disappear and formatted the phone? I wish they had used this much force for Manish Sisodia ji. If he had been here, maybe this bad thing wouldn’t have happened to me!”

The arrest of Bibhav Kumar, however, sparked a political brouhaha in the Capital.

The AAP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders engaged in a war of words, wherein Delhi ministers accused the Delhi Police of “selectively leaking false information” regarding the case, and the BJP alleged that the AAP was upset due to Kumar’s arrest as he was privy to “corruption scams” of the party.

Maliwal did not respond to calls or messages from HT, seeking further comment on the issue.

In a press conference at the party headquarters, AAP senior functionary and Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj accused the BJP of spreading lies through police, given that the Lok Sabha elections are around the corner.

Claiming police are “illegally leaking selective and fabricated information”, Bharadwaj said Delhi Police first leaked the information about the PCR call and complaint, and later leaked the FIR pertaining to the case (under Section 354 of the IPC), which was confidential.

Bharadwaj said currently, the police “is planting fake news” that “CCTV footage of the incident was missing” even though the drawing room of the CM’s residence is not covered by CCTV cameras. He said footage from outer gates was already seized by police earlier and footage of cameras inside CM’s house was seized on Sunday.

“In history, I have never seen such a case where complaint has been filed by any woman. A copy of the DD entry kept by Delhi Police as a record in its headquarters has never been shared with the media or public in any case. How did it come out? The molestation complaint and FIR lodged under Section 354 are kept confidential, it cannot be shared with anyone.This clearly shows that the copy was deliberately shared with the media by BJP’s Delhi Police?” he asked.

The minister said that when Delhi Police sources were stating that Kumar was absconding, he wrote an email to Delhi Police, gave his information and also filed a complaint in this matter.

The spokesperson for Delhi Police did not comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP chief Virender Sachdeva, in a press conference on the day, said there was “drama” in the incident as Kejriwal wanted to send a “top lawyer to Rajya Sabha”.

Sachdeva said that Kejriwal’s assistant Bibhav Kumar assaulted a female AAP MP, who, until a few days ago, was called “Jhansi ki Rani” by the CM. “But now, he (Kejriwal) is silent on the indecent behaviour that happened with her,” he said.

Sachdeva also hit back at allegations of BJP having a hand in the incident. “Kejriwal should first understand that Maliwal is a member of the AAP, and the place where the incident took place was the residence of chief minister Kejriwal himself... the assaulter is CM’s associate and the incident was confirmed by AAP MP Sanjay Singh. Where is BJP in this whole matter?” he said.

AAP’s alliance partner for the Delhi Lok Sabha polls Congress sought a thorough probe into the incident.

Senior Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said Bibhav Kumar was arrested under provisions of a law that was advocated by the AAP.

“When the ‘Nirbhaya’ incident happened, the AAP hit the streets and raised demand for a law as per which the victim’s statement in incidents of sexual crime or violence against women would be taken as the truth and the onus will be on the accused to prove his innocence. We had flagged concerns over this legislation earlier but it was brought into force,” he said.

“Now, when action follows after a woman alleged that she was wronged, it should be assumed that she was speaking the truth. Bibhav Kumar was arrested as per this law,” he said.

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