‘Treated like terrorists’: Bhagwant Mann after meeting Arvind Kejriwal in Tihar jail | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

‘Treated like terrorists’: Bhagwant Mann after meeting Arvind Kejriwal in Tihar jail

Apr 15, 2024 03:29 PM IST

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is in prison in connection with the alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy 2021-22

Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann and AAP MP Sandeep Pathak on Monday met Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal through a ‘mulakat jangla’ inside jail number 2 of the Tihar prison complex in the national capital. The meeting lasted for around 33 minutes, a senior Tihar jail official said.

Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann. (PTI Photo)
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann. (PTI Photo)

Addressing media persons outside the prison after the meeting, Mann alleged that prison authorities organised the meeting in a room divided by a glass window as though it was not between elected heads of two states, but between terrorists. “This is the height of dictatorship as two chief ministers were introduced as terrorists,” the Punjab CM said.

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“It pained me to see Arvind Kejriwal not getting facilities that are available even to hardcore criminals. What is his fault? You (BJP) are treating him as if you have caught one of the biggest terrorists of the country,” Mann claimed.

The Punjab CM read a line from the Delhi prison manual in front of the media that said the jail superintendent can allow well-behaved inmates to have face-to-face meetings with his visitors. “When P Chidambaram was in jail, Sonia Gandhi was allowed to have face-to-face meetings in a room. We were allowed to have a conversation with him over the phone while we sat across the glass window. What does Narendra Modi want?” Mann said.

“The glass was so unclean that even our faces were not visible to each other. It will badly affect them (BJP). Arvind Kejriwal is an honest person who started the politics of transparency and ended BJP’s politics, which is why he is being treated like this,” Mann said, adding that he was emotional during the meeting.

Mann, meanwhile, dismissed speculations of any threats to AAP in the wake of Kejriwal’s arrest, and said, “AAP is a disciplined group. We are all standing together like a rock with Kejriwal. When the results will be announced on June 4, AAP will emerge as a big political power in the country.”

“We spoke to him over the phone (available in the meeting room),” Pathak said.

Stating that Kejriwal directed party workers to leave no stone unturned “to save the constitution”, Mann said, “They have arrested Kejriwal but how will they confine his idea? He asked me to campaign for candidates of the INDI Alliance, whenever and wherever required. He also assured the people of Delhi that he’ll fulfil all the promises he had made before his arrest.”

The prison official, on condition of anonymity, said that Mann and Pathak met Kejriwal as common visitors in accordance with the prison manual.

“The Punjab CM and Sandeep Pathak met Kejriwal one by one as the place was not enough to accommodate two persons at a time. Elaborate security arrangements were made taking cognisance of the Punjab CM’s Z+ security cover,” the jail official added.

Kejriwal is in prison in connection with the alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy 2021-22. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 and will be in judicial custody till April 23.

The AAP, however, has maintained that the arrest is nothing but a political vendetta and was done to crush Kejriwal, who was emerging as a tall opposition leader in the country.

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