3.00pm: A defiant Arvind Kejriwal has said that there was no need for police to use force against IAC members, when they were conducting a peaceful protest, adding that they were being detained by Sonia Gandhi and not by the Delhi police.
Kejriwal was speaking to protestors en route to the Mandir Marg police station, where the bus he was being detained in was blocked by IAC supporters. “We are ready to be beaten. In our hands we have our votes and we will show them! BJP and Congress are both looting the nation”, he said.
He added that the protest had been a success and urged supporters to disperse peacefully.
2.10pm: Police detain Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Prashant Bhushan near Congress headquarters. This is the second time that the IAC members have been detained. In the morning, they were released after being detained for just over an hour for protesting outside the PM’s residence.
2.02pm: Water cannons and tear gas have also been used on protestors near BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s residence.
1.50pm: Police have clashed with protestors near the Prime Minister’s residence on Akbar road. Firstpost reporter Danish Raza says a crowd of around 200 people had started running towards the Prime Minister’s residence, and police have resorted to lathicharges and water cannons.
1.36pm: Police are now stopping protestors who are marching towards the Prime Minister’s and Congress President’s residences. Reports just coming in, state that around 20 activists have been detained near the Prime Minister’s residence and have also been stopped close to 10 Janpath. Some protestors are now marching towards the Parliament street police station.
1.21pm: Firstpost reporter Danish Raza who is following the India Against Corruption protestors, says that around 1500 people have split into three batches and are marching towards the Prime Minister’s residence, Sonia Gandhi‘s residence and BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s residences.
The protestors have crossed police barricades at Parliament street, but none of them have been detained as yet.
1.10 pm: Over 1,000 members of India against Corruption close to PM Manmohan Singh‘s residence. Firstpost reporter Danish Raza, who is at the protest, says that despite a fairly heavy police presence the activists were allowed to march past the barricades, towards the PM’s house. No action against them has been taken as yet
1.00 pm: Arvind Kejriwal slammed both the Congress and the BJP saying that they are two sides of the same coin when it comes to corruption.
Kejriwal upped the ante against political establishment asking citizens to make sure that both the Congress and the BJP should not come to power.
“All of them are hand in gloves when it comes to corruption. There were irregularities in coal block allocation in the BJP ruled states also. We cannot blame only Congress does it,” said Kejriwal.
12.19pm:Members of India against Corruption, addressing crowds at Jantar Mantar, demolished Chidambaram’s zero loss theory on the allocation of coal blocks. “It is not theft but dacoity. “The current policy to allocate coal blocked was formed in 1993 by the Narasimha Rao government. All successive governments and corporate houses have been gaining from the policy since then”, said Yadav.
Yadav said while the UPA government stalls Parliament on a cartoon controversy, it never disrupted the House over the coal allocation issue.
“Many senior government officials including former coal secretary Parekh wrote to the government warning about the possible losses due to coal allocation policy. But the government paid no heed,” said Yadav adding that Prime Minister could have stopped the loot as he was handling coal ministry.
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, also addressing the crowd, said the government could not claim zero loss because the coal was still in mines. “You are allocating natural resources to private companies on much less than actual price. You cannot claim zero loss just because one company does not sell the coal to other companies.”
11.20am: All roads near 7 Race Course road have been closed due to protest call by India Against Corruption activists at PM’s residence.
“We will stick to our protest schedule; we will wait (at Jantar Mantar) for people to join us till 12 noon. Then we will start from here and protest outside the three residences as per our schedule,” Kejriwal, who is leading India Against Corruption (IAC) supporters, said.
“Why are we being stopped from holding a peaceful protest? The Congress and the BJP hold so many protests. They are never stopped. When Raj Thackeray holds a rally without police permission, thousands attend; they are not stopped, but are given police protection. If we protest quietly, why are we detained?” Kejriwal, a said.
11.00am: India Against Corruption member Prashant Bhushan has admitted that there are differences within the team about the methods of protest. Responding to a question on key member Kiran Bedi’s absence from protests in the morning, Bhushan said, “There can be a difference of opinion within IAC about strategy of only protesting ruling party”.
9.30am: Members of India against corruption remain defiant, saying that they will congregate outside the Prime Minister’s, Sonia Gandhi and Nitin Gadkari’s residences at 10am.
The announcement came despite the fact that Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and other India Against Corruption (IAC) members were detained for just over a hour by the Delhi Police for staging a protest outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s and Congress President Sonia Gandhi residence over the coal blocks allocations issue, without permission.
IAC members including Kejriwal and Sisodia are now gathered at Jantar Mantar in preparation for their next wave of protests. Section 144 has been imposed outside the Prime Minister’s residence at present.
9.00pm: Six metro stations in central Delhi, which were earlier announced to be closed due to security concerns over a protest by Arvind Kejriwal, will now remain open throughout the day after the activist and his supporters were detained by the police.
Kejriwal and other IAC members have now been released.
A DMRC spokesman said the stations will remain open throughout the day after Delhi police revised their advisory.
8.30am: Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and other India Against Corruption (IAC) members have been released after being detained for just over a hour by the Delhi Police today morning. “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 26 August (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.