The AAP today alleged party leaders and volunteers were injured in an “unprovoked” baton-charge by police when they were protesting at Patel Chowk over the ongoing sealing drive by civic bodies, a charge denied by police. Police claimed eight policemen were injured when they were jostled by the protesters. “Minimal force” was used, they said. AAP leader Ashutosh, spokesperson Dilip Pandey and more than 10 volunteers were injured when they tried to march towards Parliament, the party claimed. “The baton-charge was totally unprovoked. Many of our volunteers were injured,” Ashutosh said. The protesters were allowed to gather at a particular spot on the Parliament Street, according to a Delhi Police statement. Most of them converged there. However, around 50 protesters reached Patel Chowk and wanted to march towards Parliament from there, it read. “They were briefed by senior officers and were requested to go to the place of protest. Even after many requests and warnings they refused to go. Defying all persuasive efforts by police, they started marching towards Parliament,” it read. The protesters jostled policemen who tried to stop them. “Minimal force was used to restrain them.
They were detained at the Parliament Street police station and were let off after some time. Eight policemen were injured and legal action is being initiated,” police said. Municipal corporations in Delhi have undertaken the sealing drive initiated by a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee. Commercial premises have been sealed for failing to deposit conversion charges according to provisions in Master Plan 2021. AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai said the party had demanded that the conversion charges be waived, but the BJP-ruled MCDs had turned it down. “The AAP tried to gherao Parliament. But the way the police baton-charged … A number of people were injured and many taken into police custody. The BJP is using force to crush protests,” Rai alleged. In Parliament, the AAP boycotted the President’s address over the sealing drive, disqualification of 20 of its MLAs and the Centre’s decision to relax FDI norms.