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Swati Maliwal taken to Kejriwal home as cops probe assault charge, AAP faces heat
Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from X video

Swati Maliwal taken to Kejriwal home as cops probe assault charge, AAP faces heat

| @indiablooms | 17 May 2024, 09:16 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: A police team Friday took Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal to Arvind Kejriwal's residence in the Civil Lines area, where she was allegedly assaulted by the Delhi Chief Minister's aide Bibhav Kumar.

Maliwal was taken to the house to 'recreate the crime scene', according to reports.

Earlier a Delhi Police team, accompanied by five forensic scientists, had visited the house. The four-member team was led by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Anjitha Chepyala.

The forensic team, which first came with the cops, returned with Maliwal.

The team collected CCTV footage from the living room where Maliwal has claimed that she was slapped seven times and kicked in the chest.

The AAP leader was allegedly assaulted by Kumar at the Chief Minister's residence on Monday as she was waiting to meet Kejriwal.

The police have also recorded witness statements and spoke to Kejriwal's security staff, including those seen arguing with the AAP leader in blurry mobile phone footage of the stand-off leaked online this morning, media reports said.

A police case was filed against Kumar last night based on Maliwal's statement, which was recorded hours earlier. The Kejriwal aide faces charges that include assault and criminal intimidation.

In the complaint, Maliwal narrated the sequence of events at the Chief Minister's residence where she was waiting in the drawing room to meet Kejriwal.

Maliwal wrote as quoted by media, "I was informed that he (Kejriwal) was present in the house and I was told to wait in the drawing room. I went into the drawing room and sat on the sofa and was waiting for the CM, when suddenly, the PS of the CM, Bibhav Kumar barged into the room.

"He started screaming at me without any provocation and even started abusing me. I was stunned…and I reacted by telling him to stop talking to me like this and to call the CM,"

Maliwal added, "He slapped me seven to eight times at least while I continued screaming…In order to protect me, I pushed him away with my legs. At that time, he pounced on me, brutally dragged me and deliberately pulled my shirt up. My shirt buttons opened and my shirt flew up. I landed on the floor while hitting my head on the centre table…

"Bibhav Kumar did not relent and attacked me by kicking me in my chest, stomach and pelvis areas with his leg… I was in extreme pain and kept asking him to stop… I repeatedly told him that I am having my periods and that he should please let go of me as I am in extreme pain."

Kumar was issued a notice by the National Commission for Women to appear this morning, but he failed to do so. A second summons has been issued.

Swati Maliwal vs AAP:

In her first public comment on this row, Maliwal this morning called for action against those who allegedly attacked her, and wrote on X, "The last few days have been very difficult for me. I thank those who prayed for me. Those who tried to do character assassination said that she was doing it on the instructions of the other party, may God keep them happy too."

Maliwal requested the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not to indulge in politics over this matter.

"An important election is going on in the country, Swati Maliwal is not important, the issues of the country are important. There is a special request to BJP people to not do politics on this incident."

In another post on X, she referred to a "political hitman" - a remark seen by many as aimed at Kejriwal - and claimed the "hitman" had directed "his people" to share the video in question to build a narrative to "save himself (after) committing this crime".

"Like every time, this time also this political hitman has started efforts to save himself. By getting his people to tweet and playing videos without any context, he thinks he can save himself by committing this crime. Who makes a video of someone being beaten up? The truth will be revealed to everyone as soon as the CCTV footage of the house and the room is checked," she wrote.

The response came after AAP leader Atishi launched a sharp attack at a press conference, in which she accused Maliwal of colluding with the BJP to discredit the AAP during the general election.

Atishi referred to a 52-second video of Monday's confrontation between Maliwal and staffers at Kejriwal's home - in which she is seen (briefly) and heard arguing with the guards, who repeatedly demand she leave the premises. The woman in the video - believed to be Maliwal - refuses, threatens the guards with police action, and then dares them to physically throw her out.

Atishi claimed the BJP is in cahoots with Maliwal, whom she labelled the "face and pawn of this conspiracy" - and that the "rattled" saffron party had been forced into this move due to the growing popularity of the Delhi Chief Minister and his status in the national political landscape.

"Ever since Arvind Kejriwal got bail the BJP has been rattled. Due to this, BJP hatched a conspiracy, under which Swati Maliwal was sent to Arvind Kejriwal's house on the morning of May 13. They intended to accuse the Chief Minister... but he was not there then, so he was saved," she said.

AAP faces heat:

The row has given the BJP ample ammunition with which to attack the AAP and Kejriwal just days before the Delhi Lok Sabha election.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman picked up that baton this morning, slamming the Chief Minister as "shameless" for continuing to associate with Bibhav Kumar.

Even though AAP leader Sanjay Singh confirmed that a "distressing" incident had taken place and said the party would support Maliwal, whom he acknowledged as "one of the party's oldest leaders", Kejriwal remains mum on the issues.

Kejriwal gave no reaction when he was asked by a reporter at the joint press conference with other INDIA bloc leaders on Thursday.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was sitting right beside Kejriwal, remarked, "There are other more important issues than this to discuss."

Kumar had even accompanied Kejriwal to Lucknow, where the AAP supremo campaigned for the Lok Sabha elections.

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