IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

UN concerned over Kejriwal’s arrest

Arshad Khan

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest in a corruption case. He said the UN hoped that the central government of India would be vigilant in protecting Kejriwal’s political and civil rights and that Kejriwal’s trial would be “fair and free from political influence”.

In a press conference held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday, this position of the UN Secretary General was highlighted by one of his spokespersons, Stéphane Dujarric. In response to a question from journalists, Dujarric said, ‘India is one of the ten largest democracies in the world. The UN Secretary General and we very much hope that India, like other democratic countries, will ensure the protection of the political and civil rights of every citizen and that the next Lok Sabha elections will be held in an environment where everyone can participate.

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party founder president Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on charges of excise corruption on March 22 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), India’s economic intelligence agency. It is alleged against Kejri that in 2021-22, he had given benefits to some liquor sellers in Delhi by revising the excise policy and took bribe of Rs 100 crore in return.

However, Kejriwal completely denied this allegation. Doubts have also arisen over whether he took the bribe at all, as the ED has yet to find any clues as to where the rupees were kept.

He was kept in police custody since his arrest on March 22. His custody was extended by another four days on Thursday. Kejriwal’s political party Aam Aadmi Party and opposition parties alleged that his arrest was at the behest of the central government to keep him away from the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in April.

Meanwhile, the United States and Germany have expressed concern over Kejri’s arrest. India has recently given a strong message to the US Ministry of External Affairs on this issue.

The UN Secretary General expressed concern over the arrest of the Delhi Chief Minister before his death.

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