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Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar arrested in Swati Maliwal 'assault' case

Last updated on: May 19, 2024 01:46 IST

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar was arrested Saturday in connection with the alleged assault on Aam Aadmi Party MP Swati Maliwal, even as the party claimed she was "blackmailed" by the Bharatiya Janata Party as she faces a corruption case.

IMAGE: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar. Photograph: File image/PTI

Kumar was picked up from the chief minister's residence by a Delhi Police team, a senior police officer said, a day after Maliwal recorded her statement before a magistrate at the Tis Hazari court.

Maliwal has alleged that the CM's aide attacked her with full force, slapping her in the face and kicking her in the chest and abdomen on May 13 when she had gone to meet the chief minister.

A senior police officer said Kumar was arrested from the chief minister's residence on Saturday. The officer said Kumar had gone there in the morning to meet Kejriwal.

Later in the night, Kumar was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Goyal who sent him to five-day police custody after the police sought his remand to question him about the incident and to retrieve data from his phone.

Police said they have recorded the statement of at least 10 people, including security personnel and other staff at the chief minister's residence, who were present at the time of the alleged assault on May 13.

 

Earlier in the day, Bibhav Kumar wrote to police, saying that he is ready to cooperate in their investigation, but they should also consider his complaint against Maliwal.

On Friday, Kumar filed a police complaint, alleging Maliwal breached the security of the CM's residence to gain unauthorised entry on May 13 and created a ruckus there.

The CM's aide also alleged that when he tried to stop her she hurled abuses at him.

Senior AAP leader Atishi addressed a press conference here in which she said if the Delhi Police is impartial, it should also register an FIR on Kumar's complaint.

Talking to PTI Videos, Atishi claimed the former DCW chief faces arrest in an illegal recruitment case and she was "blackmailed" by the BJP to become part of a "conspiracy" against Kejriwal.

Atishi, who is also a cabinet minister in the Delhi government, alleged that Maliwal went to the chief minister's official residence on Monday without an appointment.

"Why did she barge in? Why did she land up at the chief minister's residence without an appointment? Arvind Kejriwal was busy that day and did not meet her. If he had met her that day, the allegations levelled against Bibhav Kumar could have been levelled against him," Atishi said.

She said Maliwal was made the face of this "conspiracy" by the BJP.

"The BJP has a pattern. First they file cases and then threaten to send leaders to jail. Swati Maliwal is facing charges in an illegal recruitment case registered by the Anti-Corruption Branch. An FIR has been registered in the case and it is at a stage where she could be arrested.

"The BJP blackmailed Maliwal and made her the face of this conspiracy," the AAP leader charged.

Meanwhile, another purported video of Maliwal from the day of the incident surfaced online.

In the video, a woman security personnel is seen holding Maliwal by her arm while escorting her out of Kejriwal's residence. As they exit the main gate, Maliwal frees her arm from the security personnel's grip.

Maliwal's medical examination was conducted at the AIIMS on Friday. According to the medico-legal certificate (MLC), she has "bruises over proximal left leg dorsal aspect of approx size 3x2 cm and right cheek elbow below right eye of approx size 2x2 cm"

The BJP, meanwhile, accused AAP leaders of tarnishing Maliwal's image by circulating "edited" videos.

Maliwal also attacked her party for dismissing as baseless her assault allegations against Bibhav Kumar, and said the AAP has given in under a "goon's pressure" and is now questioning her character.

The AAP, Maliwal said, has made a "U-turn" two days after accepting that Kumar had "misbehaved" with her.

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