States & UTs

    AAP protest: Delhi police detains Punjab Minister Harjot Singh Bains, Somnath Bharti

    The Hawk
    March26/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    AAP members, including Punjab Minister Harjot Singh Bains and Somnath Bharti, were detained during a protest against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's arrest, amidst heavy police presence and prohibitory orders, with calls for a march to the PM's residence.

    Harjot Singh Bains arrested

    New Delhi: Punjab Minister Harjot Singh Bains and Somnath Bharti were among the scores of AAP members detained by police on Tuesday as they gathered at the Patel Chowk to protest against the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

    Raising slogans of 'Inquilab Zindabad' and 'Kejriwal Zindabad', Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers and leaders reached the area's metro station in groups, with the party calling for a march to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence on Lok Kalyan Marg for a 'gherao'.

    Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are imposed in the area and police cannot allow anyone to gather, a senior officer said and added that in view of this, 'we have to clear this area'. "We will not allow anybody to gather here," he said.

    AAP national convener Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21 and subsequently remanded to the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) custody till March 28 by a Delhi court, faces allegations of direct involvement in a conspiracy related to the formulation of the excise policy favouring specific individuals.

    "The BJP-led central government is targeting everyone who is honest so that it can save the corrupt," Kavita, one of the protesters, said.

    Senior AAP leader Bharti in a post on X said he has been detained by police along with Delhi Assembly Deputy Speaker and AAP's Mangolpuri MLA Rakhi Birla.

    "Delhi Police for no rhyme or reason along with Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla and many volunteers of AAP and supporters of Arvind Kejriwal Ji. It's shocking to see that while the Delhi Police are arresting peacefully protesting AAP supporters, they are doing nothing to stop @BJP4India," Bharti posted.

    Bains, who is a minister in AAP government in Punjab, and senior party member Reena Gupta were also among those detained.

    Leaders and workers of the BJP's Delhi unit also staged a demonstration on Tuesday demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Kejriwal.

    Besides the Lok Kalyan Marg area, police have also beefed-up security in several other parts of the national capital by deploying its personnel and those of paramilitary forces.

    "There is no permission to hold protest. We also got information that protesters will gather at the Patel Chowk metro station. In view of that, we stepped up security arrangements," Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Devesh Kumar said.

    Kumar said that if protesters try to reach and gather, they will be detained immediately.

    The entry and exit gates at the Lok Kalyan Marg metro station have been closed due to security reasons, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said on X. Entry and exit have also been restricted at the Patel Chowk and the Central Secretariat metro stations till further notice, it added.

    Security personnel in anti-riot gear were seen around the metro stations and at other places in the Central Delhi area.