AAP protests as CBI raids Delhi deputy CM

Tyagi alleged that the BJP was misusing the central agencies in opposition-ruled states. “BJP is trying to build a narrative that if there is smoke, there must be fire. Delhi’s development models are being praised…Perturbed by the success of the mohalla clinics, the BJP had got Satyendra Jain arrested. Now it’s Sisodia-ji because his policies have been lauded in a report by the New York Times,” he said.

In a report on August 16, the NYT listed steps taken by the AAP-led Delhi government in bringing about a turnaround in government schools.

Mariyam Siddiqui, president of the AAP’s women wing in Okhla, asserted that those who endeavour to fix health and education problems in India are facing political “vendetta”.

As the crowd swelled, a police officer warned of legal action if the protesters did not disperse. “Section 144 is in place. You can’t protest here,” declared the officer on the public announcement system. And soon, the police began bundling a few of them into police buses lined up on the Mathura Road. “Is it wrong to stand here? We did not raise any slogan,” said a party supporter.

A few protesters escaped from the other exit while around 30 were detained, including Kumar. “Jab, jab Modi darta hain, police ko aage karta hain (Whenever Modi is afraid, he seeks police’s help),” shouted another.

In the melee, a few protesters slunk away to Tilak Marg road and New Delhi DCP Amrutha Guguloth noticed the same. “Where are the others (protesters)? See, they are leaving. Catch them. What have you been doing standing here,” she scolded a few police officers. A few more were detained.

And outside Sisodia’s house, it was silent again, except a few fake alarms by journalists ostensibly trying to break the monotony.

The CBI FIR also names Buddy Retail Pvt Limited and its director Amit Arora; Sameer Mahendru, managing director of Indospirit Group; and Dinesh Arora, a pub owner. Buddy Retail Pvt Limited was given a licence to open 10 shops in the airport zone last year, but it was suspended as the firm could not get an NOC from airport authorities. The Delhi government later refunded a Rs 30 crore deposit to the company which, according to the BJP, violated the excise policy.

In October, after Indospirit won bids for wholesale liquor licences, the excise department issued a showcause notice to the firm for violating the policy. According to the notice, the company, being a manufacturer of liquor, was barred from bidding for wholesale licences.

In a press conference earlier this month, the Delhi BJP alleged that Arora was a conduit between Sisodia and liquor vends to receive ill-gotten money. The AAP government eventually decided to scrap the policy and announced its reentry into the liquor business.

Meanwhile, nine hours after the beginning of the raid, the MG Hector was woken up from its unexpected slumber, not by its owner but by CBI officers, and searched for documents. While it’s not clear how long the raid will continue, it could be the longest night in Sisodia’s political career.

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