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India: one of the main opponents in pre-trial detention

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar22,2024

India: one of the main opponents in provisional detention

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Hundreds of supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took to the streets in New Delhi on Friday March 22 to protest against the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal.

Agence France-Presse

One of India's most prominent opposition leaders was remanded in custody on Friday following his arrest the day before in a case his supporters say is aimed at sidelining Prime Minister Narendra Modi's opponents ahead of next month's general election .

Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of the capital Delhi, is one of the leaders of an opposition alliance trained to rival Mr Modi amid a long-running corruption investigation.

Mr. Kejriwal appeared before a New Delhi court on Friday, which ruled that he should remain in remand in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate, India's main agency investigating financial crimes, until #x27;until March 28 at least.

My life is dedicated to the country, whether I am in it or in it. outside, he told reporters.

Shadan Farasat, a member of Mr. Kejriwal's legal team, told AFP that his colleagues were considering the legal line. action to be taken after placement in detention.

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His Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) says Mr Kejriwal has not resigned as chief minister despite his arrest.

We have made it clear from the beginning that if necessary, Arvind Kejriwal would run the government from prison, Delhi Education Minister Atishi Marlena Singh told reporters on Thursday.

He is one of several bloc leaders under criminal investigation and one of his colleagues called his arrest a political plot orchestrated by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Hundreds of supporters of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took to the streets on Friday to protest and police dispersed a crowd of demonstrators who tried to block a busy road intersection.

Several protesters were arrested, including Delhi Education Minister Atishi Marlena Singh and Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj.

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Protesters blocked a busy New Delhi road intersection.

Mr. Kejriwal's government has been accused of corruption in the 2021 awarding of private alcohol sales licenses.

This Liberalization policy was halted in 2022 and the subsequent investigation into alleged corruption in licensing resulted in the imprisonment of two senior members of Mr. Kejriwal.

Mr. Kejriwal, 55, Delhi's chief minister for nearly a decade, had resisted several summons from the Enforcement Directorate to be questioned in connection with the probe.

He is among the top opposition leaders facing criminal investigations that supporters say are motivated by political considerations

We have made it clear from the beginning that, if necessary, Arvind Kejriwal will lead the government from prison, Singh told reporters. Tamil Nadu leader M.K. Stalin, another member of the opposition bloc, said Kejriwal's arrest resembles a desperate witch hunt.

But Rajeev Chandrashekhar, a minister in the Modi government, responded that the opposition's reaction to Kejriwal's arrest was extremely surprising.

Arvind Kejriwal should understand… that the consequences of his violation do not stop just because you are a political leader, he told the Press Trust of India news agency.< /p>

Modi's political opponents and international rights groups have long sounded the alarm about shrinking democratic space in India.

The American democracy think tank Freedom House estimated this year that the BJP had increasingly used government institutions to target its political opponents.

Rahul Gandhi, a member of Congress, the main opposition party and scion of a dynasty that dominated Indian politics for decades, was convicted of defamation last year following ;a complaint filed by a member of Mr Modi's party.

AAP, Congress and two dozen other parties have formed an opposition coalition ahead of the vote which will take place between April and June.

A delegation from the bloc met the electoral commission on Friday India to condemn what it called deliberate attempts to undermine the opposition campaign.

Many analysts consider the Modi's re-election as a given, in part because of the resonance of his assertive Hindu nationalist policies with members of the country's majority faith.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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