1.00pm: It looks as though the Delhi police have learned from their past mistakes. After being slammed for the use of excessive force, the police refused to arrest IAC leaders Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan and Gopal Rai who courted arrest there this morning. Protestors have now dispersed.
12.50 pm: Kejriwal reads out his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In the letter Kejriwal accepts that he has violated section 144 of IPC by protesting outside PM’s house on 26th August. However, he maintains that the accusations against IAC members are a means protect the corrupt. He says he will continue to agitate and is ready to face punishment for it.
In his letter, Kejriwal also wrote, “The protest was completely peaceful. We are accused of attacking the police, this is completely wrong. How can you (the government) not allow common man to protest peacefully?” Kejriwal further accused Delhi police of trying to protect the corrupt politicians, instead of ‘doing their job and saving the nation.’
Read the full letter below:
12.43pm: Kejriwal finally emerged from the police station and addressed supporters gathered there in his support, lambasting the police for the use of excessive force against IAC members who attempted to protest outside the homes of the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi and BJP President Nitin Gadkar.
“The common man works hard to earn money and then when they see the government is looting them, what should they do? We went there to protest, but police beat us. Why can’t we protest? We are common man. What was our mistake? Police told us that we were arrested for the PM’s security. How can common citizens be dangerous? There’s no democracy here!”, he said.
“During the time of British, Bhagat Singh was the culprit, now we are to be blamed. We are ready to face any punishment,” he added.
12.24pm: Arvind Kejriwal has tweeted that police have recorded the statements of IAC leaders including himself under section 161 of the CrPC (Examination of witnesses) and they had told police that whatever they did on 26 August was for the benefit of the country and demanded that they wanted to make a confessional statement before a magistrate.
11.59am: Kejriwal, Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan and Gopal Rai have asked police to arrest them, alleging that other volunteers of India Against Corruption are being harassed. Earlier, Bibhav Kumar, an IAC member, said police, were summoning the volunteers on the pretext of collecting evidence in cases of rioting filed against IAC leaders, and harassing them.
11.50am: Firstpost reporter Danish Raza says that around 20 IAC members are now inside the Parliament street police station along with Sisodia, Kejriwal, Rai and Bhushan. They are reportedly singing the devotional song Raghupathi Raghav Raja Ram. Maybe they’re hoping to stave off any harsh police action against them?
11.36am: The crowds seem to have largely stayed away from Kejriwal’s ‘jail bharo’ campaign this time around. Firstpost reporter Danish Raza who is at Parliament street, says that there are not more than 150 people at the venue. However he said that Kejriwal, along with Manish Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan and and Gopal Rai have gone inside the station. This is a picture he took of the crowds at the scene:
11.21am: Arvind Kejriwal has reached the Parliament street police station to surrender as part of his jail bharo campaign. Kejriwal and other leaders of the IAC will agitate outside the Parliament street police station and demand that the volunteers detained during their 26 August protest, should not be subjected to harassment in the name of collecting evidence.
10.45am: Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia and other members of India Against Corruption (IAC), are determined to go ahead with their jail bharo andolan in New Delhi, to protest the alleged harassment of its volunteers.
Five cases of rioting have been registered against Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia, Kumar Vishas, Gopal Rai and several unknown people for their protest against the coal block allocation.
Bibhav Kumar, an IAC member, said, “They will not take bail but will go to jail”.
He alleged that police, who were summoning the volunteers on the pretext of collecting evidence in the cases, were harassing them.
“Kejriwal and other leaders will tell police that they can arrest them but not harass people,” Kumar said.