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Kejriwal visits Golden Temple, appeals for peace

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Amritsar: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday paid obeisance at the Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, here and said “no one could live in peace after insulting holy scriptures”.

Stating that he prayed for the “return of peace” in Punjab, which is witnessing protests in some parts over the desecration of the Sikhs’ holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, Kejriwal said “I also appeal to the people of Punjab to maintain peace.”

Kejriwal was visiting Punjab to meet the families of the two youths killed in police firing while protesting against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Faridkot district.

Terming the desecration of the holy book as “painful”, the chief minister told reporters that it was a “wilful act” to disturb peace in Punjab.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader condemned the police action, saying it was wrong to use force against people who were protesting peacefully against acts of sacrilege.

He said it was the responsibility of the Punjab government to arrest the real culprits behind the incidents of desecration, saying no innocent person should be slapped with “false cases”.

“Golden Temple has great spiritual power and I prayed before the almighty for early peace and normalcy to get rid of current turmoil in Punjab,” he said, after paying obeisance at the Sikh shrine.

Having paid obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Golden Temple, he also paid obeisance in front of the Akal Takht (the highest Sikh Temporal Seat).

Kejriwal was honoured with a Siropa (robe of honour) and presented with a set of Sikh religious books.

Later, he visited Kotkapura to meet the families of the two people killed in police firing.

Police have so far arrested six people, mostly working in Sikh shrines, in connection with the sacrilege incidents.

Punjab police have alleged a “foreign hand” behind the incidents of sacrilege even as the Centre has sought a report from the Punjab government on the matter.

Kejriwal’s visit to Punjab assumes significance as the AAP is eying the 2017 assembly polls and has re-structured its unit in the state. The AAP won four seats in the 2014 Lok Sabaha elections. It recently suspended two of the MPs for “anti-party” activities.

(IANS)

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Saw AAP MLAs Assaulting Chief Secretary, CM’s Advisor Tells Police

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement

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The AAP had denied the charges of assault and said that the Chief Secretary was making allegations at the behest of the BJP. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s adviser V. K. Jain on Thursday told police that he saw AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal “physically assaulting” Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, according to Jain’s statement recorded by the Delhi Police.

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement.

On Tuesday, the Chief Secretary had alleged that he was beaten up by the two AAP MLAs in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday night, where he had been called for an emergency meeting.

ALSO READ: The assault on Chief Secretary exposes the double standards of AAP government

Police later arrested Khan and Jarwal and they were sent to judicial custody till Thursday.

According to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister’s adviser had called him over the phone and asked him to come to the Chief Minister’s residence for the meeting and Jain was also present there.

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According to the statement, Jain also saw that the Chief Secretary’s spectacles had fallen to the ground and the Chief Secretary picked them up and left the room. Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the Delhi Police submitted Jain’s statement at a city court, which said that Jain had gone to the washroom during the meeting and as he came out he saw the two AAP MLAs “physically assaulting” the Chief Secretary.

The statement was recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, which means that it was recorded in front of the police and not a magistrate.

Sources told IANS that Jain later recorded his statement in front of a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.

“The statement under section 164 was later recorded with the magistrate in front a camera, without the presence of police. In that statement also he (Jain) has said that he saw the two MLAs physically assaulting the Chief Secretary,” a police officer privy to the case told IANS.

The officer said that the statement under section 164 has also been submitted to the court.

Jain was first questioned on Wednesday morning and then again on Thursday and his statement was recorded on Thursday.

The change in Jain’s statement that the AAP was referring to was from a “question and answer” with Jain recorded by police after questioning him on Wednesday.

According to a copy of Wednesday’s “question and answer” recorded by police, when asked whether Jain saw the Chief Secretary being manhandled, he replied that he had gone to the washroom in between the meeting and he could not say what happened during that time.

“By putting pressure on him (Jain) throughout the day (Thursday) and by threatening him, police has forced him to change his statement,” AAP MP Sanjay Singh told the media here on Thursday.

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Singh said that the whole issue was a conspiracy to “bring down the Delhi government” and to “defame the AAP”. Wikimedia Commons

 

“How is it that the same Jain who emphatically said yesterday that he witnessed no assault during the entire time that he was present there has now claimed otherwise?” he asked.

Singh said that AAP MLAs were being arrested over an alleged assault of which there was no proof.

“But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police,” the AAP MP said.

The court on Thursday sent the two AAP MLAs, arrested on charges of assaulting the Chief Secretary, to judicial custody for 14 days.

ALSO READ: Delhi Chief Secretary row: AAP MLA arrested

Orders on the bail pleas of the two AAP MLAs and also on their police custody will be pronounced on Friday.

Meanwhile, scores of Delhi government employees across the city observed a five-minute silence outside their respective offices as a protest against the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary.

The IAS Association said that officers would continue the protest every day, till steps are taken to “ensure safety and dignity” of government staff in the city.

The AAP also hit out at Lt Governor Anil Baijal by stating that he was “working as a BJP agent” and demanded action against those involved in “manhandling and beating up” Hussain and his aide at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. (IANS)