Reacting to Waqf Board chairman Amanatullah Khan’s arrest, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that the arrest of so many Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders showed that the arrests were linked to the upcoming Gujarat polls that is scheduled later this year.
“First they arrested Satyendar Jain (Delhi health minister) but they are not able to present any evidence in court even after being repeatedly asked for. They raided Manish Sisodia’s house but found nothing. Now, Amanatullah has been arrested, and many more MLAs will be arrested. It seems they will be badly suffering in Gujarat,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The Okhla MLA was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch on Friday in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi Waqf Board recruitment.
The ACB said on Friday that unlicensed pistols, bullets of different calibre, around Rs 24 lakh cash and a bank note counter were seized from the houses of Khan’s two associates.
Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the BJP of continuing its “Operation Lotus” to break the AAP leaders.
“First, they arrested (Delhi health minister) Satyendar Jain, but there is no evidence against him in court. They raided my residence. Nothing was found. Then they initiated a fake probe against Kailash Gahlot, and now they have arrested Amanatullah Khan. Operation Lotus continues to break each leader of AAP,” Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi.
Earlier, the AAP had alleged that the BJP was trying to buy its MLAs by offering them Rs 20 crore to topple the government led by Arvind Kejriwal. The Delhi chief minister had even brought a confidence motion in the Assembly last month to prove all the AAP MLAs were with him and asserted that “Operation Lotus” had failed in Delhi.
Meanwhile, a close aide of Khan named Hamid Ali was arrested on Saturday after one unlicensed pistol along with live cartridges were recovered from his possession. An FIR was registered against him under the Arms Act.
“After the ACB’s raid at some locations connected with MLA Amanatullah Khan, three FIRs have been registered on Friday. One FIR lodged against Hamid Ali, a close aide of MLA in an Arms Act,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), South-East, Esha Pandey, The Indian Express reported.
The DCP further said a second case was registered against one Kaushar Imam Siddique alias Laddan. He is evading arrest, while a third case was registered of obstructing the raiding party of the ACB in discharge of government work.
On January 28, 2020, an First Information Report (FIR) against Khan was registered under sections of Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint by a former Waqf Board member who alleged illegal recruitment of 33 personnel in the Delhi Waqf Board, financial bungling of records, corruption in purchase of vehicles, and the creation of tenancy in the board’s properties, Hindustan Times reported.
Meanwhile, the AAP in a statement said that the MLA was arrested in a “fake and completely baseless case”, adding that “nothing was recovered from either his residence or office.”