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New Delhi: India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters were detained yesterday while protesting against cabinet minister Salman Khurshid and his wife.
Police swooped on around 150 IAC members including a group of differently-abled people from Rashtriya Viklang Party when their protest march reached Rajpath, near Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 7 Race Course Road residence. The crowd was headed towards the prime minister’s house demanding the dismissal of Khurshid from the cabinet ministry.
“Khurshid and his wife’s NGO Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust were allotted `7.1m to provide cycle rickshaws to the differently-abled in Uttar Pradesh’s 16 districts. But they misused all the funds as per an RTI,” K K Dixit, Rashtriya Viklang Party president said. Khurshid has denied the charge.
Four companies of Delhi Police swung into action, detaining and putting the crowd into Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses to be taken to Parliament Street police station.
“Only five members can be taken to the prime minister’s residence, not everybody,” explained a senior police officer, but Kejriwal rejected the proposal.
The bus carrying Kejriwal was stopped near Gol Dak Khana in central Delhi by his supporters. Police then separated Kejriwal from his supporters and took him to a stadium in Bawana in a police van. His supporters were detained in the police station. “We will remain in jail and we will not come out,” Kejriwal said from the bus. A complaint of manhandling levelled by some women protesters against female police personnel resulted in senior officials ordering the police personnel to remove their name plates from their uniforms. According to an IAC spokesperson, the prime minister refused to meet Kejriwal.
Kejriwal said he wanted to submit a letter to the prime minister detailing his allegations against Khurshid. “A police complaint should be filed immediately against Salman Khurshid and his wife. Khurshid should be removed from the cabinet till proven innocent. Both are influential people, they can tamper with evidence and pressure witnesses. They should be arrested,” said Kejriwal.
Meanwhile, Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s wife Louise Khurshid yesterday filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against a television group for broadcasting a programme alleging that their NGO siphoned off lakhs of rupees meant for physically challenged people.
Seeking damages of `1bn, the lawsuit was filed against the TV Today group for the airing the defamatory programme on its channels, Headlines Today and Aaj Tak, said court sources.
The channel, in a sting operation, said the NGO, forged signatures of senior officials in several districts of the state, to deprive the physically challenged who were eligible for grants under a scheme.IANS