Arvind Kejriwal during a road show in West Delhi Sunday. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)
A day after a 33-year-old man was detained for slapping Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a road show, police arrested him under preventive custody after registering a case on Sunday.
As of now, Suresh Chauhan has been kept at Moti Nagar police station and classified as a “security threat”. “We will keep him in custody for at least two days. It will be a risk letting him off at this stage,” said a senior police officer.
“An FIR has been registered under IPC sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot),” said DCP (West) Monika Bhardwaj. The complainant in the case is rally organiser Ajay Upadhyay.
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Chauhan’s lawyer, advocate J P Goswami, said he was not allowed to meet him. “My client has to be released as the sections are bailable. He must be produced before a magistrate as his MLC was conducted Saturday.”
Police continued to maintain that the accused was a former AAP member and has organised a few rallies in the past. Senior officers further claimed that during questioning, the accused “recounted six rallies he has attended since 2013”.
Denying that Chauhan was an AAP member, party spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “This is a blatant lie… We have already stated that the attacker’s family, particularly his wife, said he could not tolerate anyone speaking against Modi ji.”
“Next lie of the Delhi Police is that this attacker used to organise AAP rallies. I would like to ask the Delhi Police Commissioner which rally of our party did he organise? I challenge Delhi Police to put in public domain any supportive documents or evidence that they have to substantiate this wild claim,” he added.
Chauhan’s family also denied the police claims. The father of a three-year-old girl, Chauhan works in the scrap business.
Hansraj, his brother-in-law, said, “Suresh has never participated in any rallies. He likes Modi… so do we… but we must not think too much of it.”
Since the attack, a string of local parties have visited Chauhan’s family. “Everyone is calling him their brother… people claim that he marched at rallies and gave speeches,” claimed Hansraj. One such party, the Anjaan Aadmi Party, hung placards outside the station branding Kejriwal a traitor and asking people to slap him.
Locals meanwhile got into heated exchanges with Chauhan’s family. “You should be ashamed. Gandhi aadmi hai isiliye wapas nahi mara,” Jitender, a local, told them.-IE