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Attacker arrested; CM Arvind Kejriwal blames BJP, claims threat to life

The DCP said Chauhan admitted that he was an AAP worker and said was not in contact with leaders of any opposition parties.

delhi Updated: May 06, 2019 05:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
The Delhi Police on Sunday evening arrested the 33-year-old man who had attacked Arvind Kejriwal during a roadshow in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar a day earlier, even as the chief minister alleged a threat to his life.
The Delhi Police on Sunday evening arrested the 33-year-old man who had attacked Arvind Kejriwal during a roadshow in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar a day earlier, even as the chief minister alleged a threat to his life.(HT File)
         

The Delhi Police on Sunday evening arrested the 33-year-old man who had attacked Arvind Kejriwal during a roadshow in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar a day earlier, even as the chief minister alleged a threat to his life.

Police said they had arrested Satish Chauhan on a complaint from an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member. The FIR against Chauhan was registered under Sections I 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), Monika Bhardwaj, deputy commissioner of police (west) said.

Though Chauhan was granted bail in the case, as both sections are bailable, he was subsequently put under preventive arrest (arrested on the apprehension that the person may be a hindrance to peace in the area), DCP Bhardwaj said. He was produced before a city court that sent him to two-day judicial custody.

The DCP said Chauhan admitted that he was an AAP worker and said was not in contact with leaders of any opposition parties.

Another senior officer, who did not wish to be named, said Chauhan was a “disgruntled” party worker who was annoyed by some of Kejriwal’s comments on the armed forces. Chauhan had reportedly said he wanted to join the Army since childhood, but had failed to do so.

According to the officer, Chauhan — who runs a motor vehicle spare parts shop — claimed he was associated with AAP since its launch in November 2012 and had participated in the India Against Corruption movement in 2011.

“We have analysed video footage related to the incident. Chauhan was seen wearing the AAP cap and had draped a scarf of the party. Since he had been organising meetings and rallies for the party, nobody objected when he was approaching the CM,” the officer said. He said that even 15 days ago, a local AAP MLA had approached Chauhan to help organise a rally. Delhi Police have spoken to Chauhan’s family to know more about him.

Kejriwal blames BJP

On Sunday morning, addressing a press conference, Kejriwal blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the assault. “This was the ninth attack on me in five years and the fifth one after becoming the chief minister of Delhi. Delhi is the only state in India where the responsibility of the safety of the chief minister rests with the government of a party that is opposed to the CM. The BJP-led Central government is responsible for my security. So, Modi ji… the BJP is responsible for the attack on me,” he said.

Dismissing the charge that the attacker was an AAP supporter, the CM said it was not an attack on him but on the mandate of the people of Delhi. He alleged Delhi Police were merely following the “script” given by the ruling party. “If somebody is disgruntled, does he have the right to attack? Where does it happen that a CM is attacked and the police don’t take any action and say they are waiting for someone to file a complaint?” Kejriwal said, hours before police filed a case and arrested Chauhan.

Saying that his life was under threat, Kejriwal said, “A lapse in security can happen once or twice, but when it happens nine times it makes it feel like a conspiracy. In the last four years, since we won 67 of 70 seats in Delhi, the BJP has left no stone unturned in trying to destroy AAP and finish the elected government. My office was raided, my bedroom was raided, 33 cases were slapped on me. When nothing worked, they tried to purchase our MLAs.”

“All this points to a conspiracy to crush our party. When everything failed, they came up with this ploy of trying to physically eliminate us,” he said.

Responding to Kejriwal’s allegation, Delhi BJP leader and MLA Vijender Gupta said the attack was scripted. Gupta said he had information that Kejriwal had informed the police a day before the roadshow that his security be reduced and the request was noted by police in their daily diary. No Delhi police officer confirmed or denied Gupta’s claim. “...Kejriwal himself wanted less security. This should be probed and what has been entered in the diary of the police should be brought before the people,” Gupta said in a statement. The BJP leader also said Chauhan was a AAP member.

“Delhi Police is committed to providing foolproof security during all poll-related events. It is being ensured that coordination is maintained with organisers of public meetings, padyatras, road shows,” a police statement said

First Published: May 06, 2019 05:11 IST

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