Defiant Kejriwal to protest again if released

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 13, 2012 11:03 hrs

New Delhi: Social activist Arvind Kejriwal spent the night in a makeshift jail in Bawana, on the outskirts of Delhi, along with around 150 supporters, after being arrested for trying to lead a protest march to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence.

Undeterred, Kejriwal said that he will go to Parliament Street, where some of his other supporters are expected to demonstrate from 11 am onwards, and continue his protest demanding action against Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid over embezzlement charges.

"As per law, they will have to produce us before magistrate within 24 hours. They will have to do it before 3 pm. Either we will be arrested and taken to Tihar Jail or we will be released. If we are released, we will go to Parliament Street and continue our protest. We appeal to people to come and join us there," Kejriwal was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Earlier he said that India Against Corruption was protesting peacefully and the move of police to detain them was not expected.

"If the police release us, we will go back to Parliament Street and continue protest," he said.

"Both Khurshid and his wife are very powerful people.They will be able to cleanse the evidence.They can put pressure on witnesses. They should be arrested to prevent this," Kejriwal said.

Anti-corruption activist Manish Sisodia and other protesters were also detained.

Kejriwal and large number of disabled people from the Rashtriya Viklang Party assembled at Janpath on Friday and planned to move towards the Prime Minister's residence but they were stopped by the police at Janpath.

They staged a sit-in demonstration after the police did not allow them to proceed.

The police reportedly detained them after they refused to disperse from the spot.

The cops forcefully dragged the protesters and put them in buses that would carry them to another location.

Kejriwal changed the original plans of laying a siege to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence, a member of IAC group said.

The social activist and other protesters had also sought permission to meet the PM.

However, Singh refused to meet them due to his prior appointments.

"All of us will go to the PM's house. We will sit outside and wait for the PM to get free. Whenever he has time, we would like to meet him," Kejriwal told NDTV.

Speaking on the possibility of detention by the police, he said: "We are not a security threat. The people of this country are not a security threat. Let them pick us up. Let them detain us. Let them arrest us."

"We want to show the PM that his Law Minister has swindled the money meant for physically challenged people," Kejriwal said.

Shrugging off Khurshid's warning of legal action for purported defamation, Kejriwal on Thursday demanded that the senior leader of the ruling Congress party should be sacked without inquiry over the embezzlement charges.

"This is a matter where there should be no inquiry; Salman Khurshid should be dismissed straight away," Kejriwal, who launched his own political party last week, said, undeterred by Khurshid's warning.

Earlier, an infuriated Salman Khurshid called Kejriwal a guttersnipe and vowed to teach him a lesson by taking him to court for allegations of siphoning off money by him and his wife from an NGO the couple runs in their constituency in Uttar Pradesh for the physically challenged.

He also slammed the TV channel Aaj Tak for bringing corruption charges against him and his wife. The channel alleged that the Zakir Husain Memorial Trust run by the couple embezzled money by forging signatures of the government officials.

Kejriwal on Wednesday called for the resignation of Khurshid after he and his wife were implicated in the sting operation by the news channel over alleged financial impropriety.

Kejriwal's attack comes amidst an ongoing offensive against the ruling Congress party where he has accused party chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra of enabling government favours for real estate giant DLF in return of kickbacks.

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