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Maliwal case: Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar arrested

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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar was arrested in connection with the alleged assault on AAP MP Swati Maliwal at the CM’s residence even as a combative AAP chief said he and other party leaders would go to the BJP headquarters on Sunday and dared the “prime minister to send anyone he wants to jail”.
The Aam Aadmi Party alleged Maliwal was “blackmailed” by the BJP to become part of a “conspiracy” against Kejriwal as she faces a corruption case and that the BJP wants to send party MP Raghav Chadha and Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj to jail too.
Hitting back, the BJP accused AAP of resorting to victim-shaming and victim-blaming with its brazen defence of Kumar. BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla alleged that Kejriwal is making efforts to protect Kumar as his aide is in a position to expose the chief minister’s damaging “secrets”.
Kumar was picked up from the chief minister’s residence by a Delhi police team on Saturday, a senior police officer said, adding that they suspected that he had come to tamper with evidence.
Hours later, Kejriwal held a press conference where he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “playing the game” of sending AAP leaders such as Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, and Sanjay Singh to jail.
“They are after our party and sending our leaders in jail one after another… Today you have sent my PA to jail,” he said, adding the BJP is saying they will send AAP MP Raghav Chadha and Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj to jail too.
“I along with my MLAs and MPs would go to the BJP office at noon tomorrow so that the prime minister can send anyone he wants to jail.”
“The AAP is an idea. For as many AAP leaders you jail, the country would produce leaders a hundred times more,” Kejriwal said, as the Maliwal incident intensified the slugfest between the BJP and AAP in Delhi, where Lok Sabha polls will be held on May 25.
Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party could not be crushed by sending its leaders to jail.
Rajya Sabha MP Maliwal has alleged that the CM’s aide attacked her with full force, slapping her in the face and kicking her in the chest and abdomen on May 13 when she had gone to meet the chief minister.
Maliwal’s medical examination was conducted at the AIIMS on Friday. According to the medico-legal certificate (MLC), she has “bruises over proximal left leg dorsal aspect of approx size 3×2 cm and right cheek elbow below right eye of approx size 2×2 cm”
A senior police officer said Kumar was picked up from the chief minister’s residence on Saturday, a day after Maliwal recorded her statement before a magistrate at the Tis Hazari court. The officer said Kumar had gone there in the morning to meet Kejriwal.
Police said they have recorded the statement of at least 10 people, including security personnel and other staff at the chief minister’s residence, who were present at the time of the alleged assault on May 13.
According to a police officer, Kumar was interrogated about the reason he went to the CM’s house on Saturday morning.
The police suspect that he might have come to tamper with the evidence.
“As soon as they got to know about the presence of Kumar at the CM’s residence on Saturday morning, a team from the local police station was sent to nab him,” the officer said.
They also asked Kumar about his whereabouts at the time of the filing of the FIR against him on Thursday. In the evening, AAP leaders Gopal Rai, Sanjay Singh and Atishi visited Kumar’s residence.

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