Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been placed under “house arrest” by the police ever since he met with the protesting farmers yesterday and has been forced to cancel his meetings, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged this morning. The Delhi Police denied the charge.
AAP also alleged that the Chief Minister was deliberately blocked because of the Bharat Bandh called by farmers protesting against the central government’s new farm laws.
BJP’s Delhi Police has put Hon’ble CM Shri @ArvindKejriwal under house arrest ever since he visited farmers at Singhu Border yesterday
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) December 8, 2020
“When our MLAs went to meet the chief minister they were beaten and thrown on the streets. The party volunteers were also not allowed to meet,” AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj claimed at a press conference today.
The party said Delhi Police, on orders from the Union Home Ministry, got the three mayors of the city’s various civic bodies to protest in front of the Chief Minister’s home and used it as an excuse to block the exits. Mr Kejriwal’s residence has been barricaded completely, with none allowed to enter or leave the premises, AAP claimed.
All of his official meetings have been cancelled for the day given the circumstances, AAP leaders said.
Delhi Police Deputy Commissioner for North District, Anto Alphonse, denied the party’s allegations, dubbing them “lies” and “baseless”. “We are alert. Arvind Kejriwal left home at around 8pm yesterday and returned around 10pm. There is no issue at all,” Mr Alphonse said.
This claim of CM Delhi being put on house arrest is incorrect. He exercises his right to free movement within the law of the land. A picture of the house entrance says it all.@DelhiPolice@LtGovDelhipic.twitter.com/NCWBB9phDS
— DCP North Delhi (@DcpNorthDelhi) December 8, 2020
Mr Kejriwal had visited the Singhu border point between Delhi and Haryana on Monday to meet the protesting farmers and review arrangements for them. Thousands of farmers have been parked there, along with other border points with Delhi and other states, in protest against the central government’s farm laws passed in September.
They have been seeking the unconditional repeal of the three laws that they view as severely harmful to them. The protesters’ Bharat Bandh has the support of several political parties, including the Congress, the Left, the Samajwadi Party and the BSP.
In anticipation of trouble, several leaders of various parties in Uttar Pradesh, including SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, have allegedly been detained or put under house arrest-like conditions. On Monday, Mr Yadav tried to break barricades and leave for a protest rally in Kannauj, but was detained by the police.