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Kejriwal Requests Modi to “Spare” his Aged and Ill Parents from Rigours of Police Investigation

Kejriwal Requests Modi to “Spare” his Aged and Ill Parents from Rigours of Police Investigation

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 23: The Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not drag his parents into the Modi versus Kejriwal fight even as his Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha member Swati Maliwal contradicted her party supremo and insisted that Mr Kejriwal was present in the house during the sordid event of she being beaten up by his personal assistant Bibhav Kumar in the morning of May 13.

Citing the advanced age of his parents and their ill health, Mr Kejriwal addressing Mr Modi on Thursday said, “Your fight is with me. Don’t harass my sick, old parents. God is watching everything.”

The message came as the Delhi Police was scheduled to interrogate Kejriwal’s parents in connection with the Swati Maliwal assault case. Ms Maliwal had told the police that Mr Kejriwal’s parents were present when she was assaulted by Kumar. However, the interrogation of Mr Kejriwal’s parents was deferred. Reports said the cops would be visiting Mr Kejriwal’s residence in the coming days to record his parents’ statement but not on Thursday.

“This is my appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pradhanmantri ji, you have made several attempts to pull me down. You arrested me; harassed me in Tihar in several ways. But I did not give in. Today, you crossed all limits as you targeted my parents. My mother is very ill. She came home from the hospital on the day you arrested me, March 21. My father is 85 years old. He is short of hearing. Do you think they have done something wrong? Why will the cops interrogate them,” Mr Kejriwal said.

“I am waiting for the police with my parents and wife. Yesterday the police called my parents and asked for time for interrogation. But they have not given any information yet whether they will come or not,” Mr Kejriwal wrote on X.

The former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Ms Maliwal in an interview had recounted the whole incident on May 13 insisting that Mr Kejriwal and his other family members were having breakfast when she reached the Chief Minister’s residence on the fateful morning. This contradicted what Mr Kejriwal had said earlier that he was not at home and was not present at the incident site when the alleged assault took place.

Recounting the events, Ms Maliwal repeated the narratives in the same manner she had stated in the police complaint. “I went to Kejriwal’s residence on May 13 around 9 am. The staff made me sit in the drawing room and told me that Mr Kejriwal would come to meet me there…By that time, Bibhav barged into the room. I told him Arvind ji was coming to meet me, what’s the issue. I said this much and he started beating me…He slapped me seven-eight times. When I tried to push him, he grabbed my legs and pulled me down on the floor. My head banged on the centre table. As I fell on the floor, he started kicking me. I screamed for help but nobody came,” she said.

“It’s strange that no one came out to help me. I was screaming,” Swati Maliwal added. On a question on whether Bibhav was instructed to beat her up, Swati Maliwal said, “It is a matter of investigation whether he acted on his own or whether he was instructed to do so. I am cooperating with the investigation.”

“I am not giving any clean chit to anyone. The fact is I was being beaten up and Arvind Kejriwal was there,” the MP added.

Replying to a question on whether her disagreement with the AAP stemmed from any request from the party to vacate her Rajya Sabha seat for a special advocate, Maliwal said, “If I had been asked politely, I would have given my life. MP post is a very small thing. If you see my entire career, you will see that I never hankered after any post. I left my engineering job in 2006 and joined Kejriwal. I worked at the ground level.”

“I can work without any post. But now that I have been beaten up so mercilessly, now I won’t ever give up my Rajya Sabha seat. I am the youngest woman MP. I will work very hard and become an ideal parliamentarian,” Maliwal said.

On Bibhav Kumar, Swati Maliwal said he was not an ordinary PA. “I know him since 2006. He gradually became very close to Kejriwal. If you see his house, even ministers do not have such a luxurious house. He is so powerful that it is believed that if you ruffle his feathers, then you are finished,” Swati said adding that there were assault cases against Bibhav in the past too.

In her statement before the police, Ms Maliwal had stated that Mr Kejriwal’s family members were having their breakfast when she went to the CM’s residence on May 13. She said she greeted Mr Kejriwal’s parents and then sat in the drawing room waiting for the chief minister but the CM’s aide Bibhav Kumar followed her and assaulted her in the drawing room — slapping, kicking — prompting her to call the PCR.

Mr Kumar has been arrested and is in police custody. The attack has also sparked a political firestorm, with the BJP attacking the AAP and Mr Kejriwal – who is its convenor – and questioning their stance on the safety of women. The AAP has hit back, pointing to the alleged shielding of people like BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, and also alleged that Ms Maliwal is “working for” the ruling party at the Centre.

Ms Maliwal said she did not think about her career or what she would have to go through before raising her voice. “I just thought that I had to live by what I have always told women – that they should stand by the truth, make truthful complaints and fight if they have been wronged. So how can I not fight,” she asked.

Reacting to Ms Maliwal’s claims, Mr Kejriwal had said on Wednesday that he wanted a free and fair investigation, but had stressed that there are two versions to every event. “…I expect there will be a fair investigation. Justice should be served. There are two versions of the event. Police should investigate both versions fairly and justice should be done,” the chief minister had said. Ms Maliwal had hit back almost immediately and said it was ironic that the person who had “assassinated her character” and called her a “BJP agent” was now calling for a free and fair probe.




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