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Delhi’s Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar resigns, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says Emergency-like situation

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New Delhi: A bitter battle between the central and AAP governments worsened on Tuesday as police arrested Delhi’s Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar amid high drama and secured a four-day police custody over his alleged fake degree. The AAP denounced the arrest as vendetta.

The minister late Tuesday submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying he did not want the image of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the government to be tarnished.

Earlier Tuesday, Metropolitan Magistrate Navjeet Budhiraja sent Tomar to police remand after police argued that the AAP leader was an influential man who could fabricate documents if he remained free.

Police slapped cases of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery after picking up Tomar from his office early in the morning and then dramatically taking him into custody.

There was no comment from Kejriwal. But a livid Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia called the arrest illegal and said that an “Emergency-like situation” was being imposed on the capital by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.

Delhi Police reports to the Lt. Governor and the union home ministry, and not the AAP government.

Delhi Police rejected charges of wrongdoing. Its chief B.S. Bassi maintained that the arrest was “within the parameters of law”. He said: “There is no conspiracy behind the arrest.”

The AAP, which took power in Delhi in February, accused police of roughing up Tomar. Delhi assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said he wasn’t informed about the arrest.

Sisodia said vested interests were ganging up against the AAP government because of its anti-corruption campaign.

He said about 40 policemen swooped on Tomar’s office and took him away as if he was a fugitive.

“Police told Tomar that they had come to see some documents… They asked him to accompany them to his house. On the way they told his driver to get off, took charge of the vehicle and told him that he was being detained,” said Sisodia, adding Tomar was told “that he could ask someone to bring the documents to the police station”.

“What is going on?” he asked. “Was he (Tomar) running away? Did he explode bombs in Delhi? There is an allegation (against him). The matter is in court. What was the need to arrest him?”

Sisodia added: “This arrest is illegal. There is an Emergency-like situation. This is supposed to be a democracy… Maybe it is an attempt to teach the AAP a lesson (for what we are doing).”

The arrest triggered protests by AAP supporters at the Hauz Khas police station in south Delhi where Tomar was initially taken. He was later moved to Vasant Vihar where AAP leaders Ashutosh and Kumar Vishwas staged a protest.

Tuesday’s arrest peaked a simmering row between the central and AAP governments over the powers of the Delhi government over the posting and transfer of senior officials. This too is now facing judicial scrutiny.

The arrest also coincided with an ugly turf war between the central and state governments over the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi government.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh asked: “If the case relates to a fake degree, will ministers Smriti Irani and Ram Shanker Katheria (of BJP) will also be taken to police station without any prior notice?”

Tomar told CNN-IBN that he didn’t know why he was arrested, adding it had been done to tarnish the AAP’s image.

Two cases are pending against Tomar in the Delhi High Court, alleging he enrolled himself as an advocate on the basis of a fake law degree and seeking cancellation of his election. Tomar says his degree is genuine.

“The case was very clear from the first day but Kejriwal turned a blind eye and let him (Tomar) continue as a minister,” Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said.

“This is the first time a minister has been arrested,” added Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken.

But the CPI-M denounced the arrest as shocking, and said it was a clear case of vendetta politics. It asked Lt. Governor Jung to resign. (IANS)

 

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BJP Holds Arvind Kejriwal Responsible For Sanitation Worker’s Death

According to police, he had gone to clean the drain but got trapped in the silt and garbage in the drain

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The new move the Arvind Kejriwal's party denounces the concept of digitalization
The new move the Arvind Kejriwal's party denounces the concept of digitalization

The BJP on Monday held Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responsible for the death of a sanitation worker in a drain saying that the government was playing with their lives as they are not given protective gear.

“This is not the first time that such an incident has happened. Due to the negligence of the government, sanitation staff goes for cleaning sewers and dies there after inhaling toxic fumes. They are never saved even after rescue operations,” Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari told reporters here.

His remarks come a day after a sanitation worker choked to death after he got trapped inside an underground drain while cleaning it in north Delhi’s Jahroda area.

The work of cleaning the drain was being carried out by the Delhi government’s flood control department.

Sanitation workers are our helpers and Kejriwal government is playing with their lives ,www.thestatesman.com

“Sanitation workers are our helpers and Kejriwal government is playing with their lives,” he said.

Highlighting the deaths of sanitation workers in Delhi in the past few years, the BJP MP from the North East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency said that in September 2018, five sanitation workers died while in August 2017, 10 died inside sewers.

“Kejriwal is responsible for the deaths of sanitation workers who die while cleaning sewers and the investigating agencies should take action against him,” he said.

Attacking Kejriwal, Tiwari said, “During the last three to four years, more than 60 workers have died.”

Arvind Kejriwal giving speech suring chanda bandh satyagrah
Arvind Kejriwal giving speech during chanda bandh satyagrah

He also accused Kejriwal of not fulfilling his promise of providing safety equipment to sewer workers and mechanical sweeping.

A senior Delhi Police official said that it has registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code over the death of the sanitation worker.

The sanitation worker has been identified as Kishan, 37, a resident of north Delhi’s Wazirabad area.

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal Accuses Modi Government of Betraying Farmers

According to police, he had gone to clean the drain but got trapped in the silt and garbage in the drain.

His body was taken out from the drain by a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) late on Sunday night. (IANS)