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ED: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal eating sweets, mangoes to raise sugar level

By, New Delhi
Apr 19, 2024 05:29 AM IST

Delhi minister and AAP leader Atishi responded by saying there was a “huge conspiracy” to kill Kejriwal in prison, attributing jump in his blood sugar levels.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is eating mangoes and sweets and drinking tea with sugar in Tihar jail to spike his blood sugar levels and create grounds for bail, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed in a local court on Thursday, adding a fresh twist to the saga between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the central agency over the CM’s treatment in prison.

A march in support of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at Arts Faculty, North Campus in New Delhi, on Tuesday. (Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)

Hours later, Delhi minister and senior AAP leader Atishi responded by saying there was a “huge conspiracy” to kill Kejriwal in prison, attributing the jump in his blood sugar levels to him being denied insulin behind bars, as she accused ED of lying in a bid to keep him from receiving home-cooked food.

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Kejriwal, a type-2 diabetes patient, is trying “to create a medical emergency to obtain sympathetic treatment from the court”, the agency alleged in court.

“He is consciously consuming items like tea with sugar, banana, sweets (1/2 pieces), poori, aloo sabji, etc. on a regular basis, despite being a patient of diabetes mellitus type 2 and knowing very well that consumption of such items results in an increase in blood sugar,” ED told special judge Kaveri Bajwa during the hearing.

The court was hearing the chief minister’s plea to allow him video consultations with his doctor thrice a week to control his “fluctuating blood sugar levels”.

Read Here: Arvind Kejriwal not given insulin, AAP alleges 'plot to kill' Delhi CM in jail

Advocate Vivek Jain, appearing for Kejriwal, objected to ED’s submissions, arguing that the agency was “playing to the gallery” and withdrew the application. However, the court sought a report from Tihar jail, asked for Kejriwal’s diet chart since he has been in judicial custody and listed the case for further hearing on April 19.

Kejriwal’s health and his alleged ill-treatment in prison have been at the heart of a tussle between the AAP and ED since the chief minister’s arrest on March 21. Delhi’s ruling party, on April 3, alleged that Kejriwal had lost 4.5kg in less than two weeks of his incarceration and said there was a “threat to his health”. The agency dismissed the claims at the time, saying his health was examined regularly and that he was being administered insulin as prescribed.

The AAP has also accused Tihar prison officials of treating the chief minister “like a terrorist” and denying him basic facilities, claims that senior jail officials have denied.

A chart of Kejriwal’s diet between April 2 (when he was sent to judicial custody) and 17 submitted during the hearing on Thursday showed that the chief minister ate fruits with every meal. According to the chart, he had mangoes at least three times in that period – for lunch on April 6, 7 and 8.

To be sure, apart from a few instances, the chart does not specify which fruits Kejriwal has eaten.

Read Here | Arvind Kejriwal's lawyer rejects ED's 'mangoes, sweets in jail' claim: ‘Eating only…’

It also showed that he had tea with breakfast every day and occasionally with lunch, though the chart did not specify whether he drank it with sugar or not.

However, the breakfast and lunch entries for April 17 specify that Kejriwal drank “tea without sugar” during both meals.

Atishi, during a press conference on Thursday, alleged that ED “lied in court”.

“There’s a conspiracy to kill Kejriwal by stopping his home cooked food supply,” she said. “[ED] said that Kejriwal is having tea with sugar and eating sweets. This is a complete lie. Kejriwal is taking an artificial sweetener.”

“The BJP through its wing ED is trying to harm Kejriwal’s health. They are trying to stop the supply of home-cooked food to Kejriwal in jail,” added the Kalkaji MLA.

She also said Kejriwal’s sugar levels have been over 300 mg/dL for the past few days and that “Tihar authorities have denied him insulin”. Atishi said that Kejriwal has been suffering from diabetes for 30 years and takes 54 units of insulin everyday.

Read Here: Amanatullah Khan leaves ED office post midnight after being questioned in Waqf Board case

Tihar officials aware of the matter said Kejriwal is checked by two accredited doctors from Delhi government hospitals thrice a day, and added that he has not been taking insulin since his first day in prison.

“He has been on medication, but not insulin. He is taking the same medicines that he was taking on Day 1. Two senior resident Delhi government doctors who are checking him thrice a day inside jail advised him not to eat bananas and sweets two or three days ago. So, his blood sugar level was around 167 on Thursday morning,” said a Tihar official.

A second Tihar official said most prisoners are administered medicines based on the advice of the jail’s accredited doctors.

“If the case is complex, the prisoner is referred to a Delhi government hospital. In some cases, prisoners are also referred to central government hospitals such as AIIMS, such as in Chhota Rajan’s case... We cannot put them on any medication on the basis of a prescription issued outside,” said the official.

To be sure, ED’s submissions in court showed that, on random testing, Kejriwal’s blood sugar levels were largely well above normal, going from 139mg/dL on April 1 (when he was moved to Tihar) to 202mg/dL on April 10, 280mg/dL on April 12, 276mg/dL on April 14, 243mg/dL on April 15.

The levels dipped to 130mg/dL on April 16 and 181mg/dl on April 17.

Doctors said a normal blood glucose level on a non-fasting test is between 125 and 140mg/dL.

“It appears that his blood sugar readings are not under fair control. He should cut down on carbs overall and take rotis made of complex carbs. His medications need to be adjusted accordingly,” said Dr Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology.

The chief minister was sent to judicial custody and taken to Tihar prison’s jail number 2 on April 1, days after being arrested by ED on March 21 for his alleged role in the Capital’s controversial 2021-22 excise policy. While ordering his judicial remand, a Delhi court allowed Kejriwal home-cooked food in prison.

ED also informed the court that jail authorities on Wednesday asked the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) “to prescribe a medical diet” keeping in mind his blood sugar levels, as well as his diagnoses of diabetes, chronic cough and chronic constipation.

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