Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and other India Against Corruption (IAC) members were released after being detained for just over a hour by the Delhi Police today morning. The IAC members staged a protest outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s and Congress President Sonia Gandhi residence over the coal blocks allocations issue, without permission.
Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas, who were protesting outside UPA chief Sonia Gandhi‘s residence, were released too.
They will now head to Jantar Mantar for the protest.
“They have beaten Sisodia, he is badly injured. What was our fault? Some of the IAC members may have to be hospitalised,” Kejriwal said after being released.
“Under what law, are we being arrested? We haven’t even violated section 144.At least we should be told why we are being detained,” Kejriwal told the media from the back seat of a police jeep after he was detained from outside the PM’s residence.
Earlier, launching a tirade against the government for the decision to shut down six metro stations in the capital’s sensitive zones on Sunday ahead of the protest rally called in by Kejriwal on Saturday, the IAC member said, “We have come here to request the government to open the Metro. When the Congress and the BJP hold their rallies, the metro is not closed. We want to ask the police officials who are arresting us that are they paid by the government or the taxpayers’ money.”
The Delhi Traffic Police had decided to shut six stations – Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Khan Market, Patel Chowk, Race Course and Jor Bagh – on Sunday between 8 am and 6 pm, in view of the protest call by the IAC.
Upping the ante against the coal allocations, Kejriwal on Saturday had asked his supporters to protest not just in Delhi but also outside the residences of the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in their respective states.
Kejriwal announced the gherao after the CAG report on coal said that the national exchequer lost around Rs 1.86 lakh crore due to allocations without competitive bidding during 2005-09.
“The Congress and the BJP have got together to loot Rs 1.86 lakh crore in coal scam. (There will be) gherao of Prime Minister’s and Nitin Gadkari’s residences. Let us assemble at Jantar Mantar on August 26 (at) 10 am,” Kejriwal had tweeted.
The Delhi Police, however, had written to Kejriwal and his organisation, the IAC, to not go ahead with their protests saying that Parliament was in session and prohibitory orders were in place.
Meanwhile, prominent academic Madhu Kishwar mocked Kejriwal saying the idea to gherao the PM’s residence was nothing but “childish heroics”. “Surely there are better ways of protesting corruption,” she added.
The Delhi Metro has announced that six stations — Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Jor Bagh, Race Course Road (all on the Huda City Centre-Jahangirpuri line) and Khan Market (on the Central Secretariat-Badarpur line) stations — would be closed for public from 8am to 6pm.
With inputs from Agencies