In protest against the arrest of Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan, markets in several areas of the constituency he represents will remain shut today. Shafia, Mr Khan's wife had appealed to the people of Okhla to down shutters from 9 am to 5 pm in solidarity with their elected representative. Mr Khan was yesterday arrested by the Delhi police on charges of "rioting and obstructing public servants from discharging their duty" after he intervened in an anti-encroachment drive in southeast Delhi where the BJP-governed civic body demolished several structures they deemed illegal.
अमानुतल्लाह खान को जनता की आवाज़ बुलंद करने पर सलाखों के पीछे भेजा गया है।ओखला की आवाम से मेरी गुज़ारिश है कि गिरफ्तारी के विरोध में कल सुबह9बजे से शाम5बजे तक अपनी दुकानों को बंद रखे ताकि हम ज़ालिम भाजपा सरकार को बता सकें कि आवाम अपने विधायक के साथ खड़ी है।— Amanatullah Khan AAP (@KhanAmanatullah) May 12, 2022
Wife of Amanat
Notably, there has been no public comment from AAP or party chief Arvind Kejriwal even a day after the arrest triggering backlash against the party from Mr Khan's supporters.
Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh this morning called AAP's silence on the arrest "astonishing". He also alleged that while AAP backed the BJP on the controversial citizenship law CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC), Mr Khan had openly opposed them.
आप पार्टी के नेता व उनकी पार्टी की चुप्पी आश्चर्यजनक है।— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) May 12, 2022
CAA व NRC के विषय पर केजरीवाल जी ने भाजपा का समर्थन किया था। जब कि अमानतुल्लाह खान ने खुल कर उसका विरोध किया था।
The AAP leader and his supporters were arrested after being detained for several hours for taking part in the protest against the demolition drive at the Madanpur Khadar area on Thursday.
The anti-encroachment drive sparked violent protests and pelting of stones in the Madanpur Khadar area where the locals claimed that legal structures were bulldozed.
As the protest escalated, there was stone pelting and the police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse an angry crowd. Visuals from the spot showed a large group of people running away as the police used force. Several scooters and motorbikes can be seen upturned in the aftermath and police caning some protestors they could get a hold of. More than 10 people, including two women, were detained by the police.
"I am ready to go to jail if it saves the houses of poor people. There is no encroachment here. I will support them (civic body) in demolition if there is any encroachment," Mr Khan had told news agency ANI before his arrest.
Esha Pandey, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) said, "An FIR has been registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Amanatullah Khan along with five other supporters have been arrested for rioting and obstructing public servants in discharging of their duty."
Local residents yesterday accused the civic body of rampant corruption claiming they were aware of all the construction in the area and allowed it after taking bribes from builders and extorting money from locals but have now rolled in with bulldozers without even giving any notice.
Delhi's three municipal corporations -- South, East and North -- are ruled by the BJP.