Swati Maliwal Taken To Arvind Kejriwal's Home As Cops Probe Assault Charge

On Thursday, in her first public comment on this row, Ms Maliwal called for action against those who allegedly attacked her, and wrote on X, "The last few days have been very difficult..."

Swati Maliwal is the former Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (File).

New Delhi:

The controversy over Swati Maliwal's allegations against Arvind Kejriwal's aide - Bibhav Kumar - escalated sharply Friday afternoon after a police team took the Aam Aadmi Party MP to the Delhi Chief Minister's residence in the city's Civil Lines area, where the alleged assault took place. 

Ms Maliwal was taken to the house to 're-create the crime scene', sources said. 

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 Ms Maliwal.

In addition to collecting CCTV footage from the living room - where Ms Maliwal has claimed she was slapped seven times and kicked in the chest - the police reportedly recorded witness statements and spoke to members of Arvind Kejriwal's security staff, including those seen arguing with the AAP leader in blurry mobile phone footage of the stand-off that was leaked online this morning.

A police case has been filed against Mr Kumar last night based on Ms Maliwal's statement, which was recorded hours earlier. Bibhav Kumar faces charges that include assault and criminal intimidation.

Mr Kumar was also 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.

READ | AAP Blasts Swati Maliwal, Says Video Exposes Her "Lies"

Prior to that, in her first public comment on this row, Ms Maliwal called for action against those who allegedly attacked her, and wrote on X, "The last few days have been very difficult..."

READ | "What Happened To Me Was Very Bad": Swati Maliwal On Assault Row

She also hit out at critics who have suggested her claims are being orchestrated by "the other party"; the comment has been seen as referring to the BJP, which has now launched waves of criticism of Mr Kejriwal and the AAP ahead of the election in Delhi, accusing both of being "anti-women".

Swati Maliwal Video From Kejriwal's Home

In the 52-second video that emerged from Mr Kejriwal's home, Ms Maliwal, who is seen briefly, seems to be arguing with security staff. The guards are heard asking her to leave the building.

READ | Amid Swati Maliwal Row, New Video From Kejriwal's Home Is Viral

Ms Maliwal refuses to leave, warns the security officers she has called the police, and dares the guards to physically eject her from the Chief Minister's home.

After the video emerged online Ms Maliwal slammed the party.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), she referred to a "political hitman" - a remark seen by many as aimed at Mr 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".

The AAP responded by sharing the video and writing, "The truth of Swati Maliwal."

Swati Maliwal Assault Row

Ms Maliwal was allegedly assaulted by Mr Kumar in Mr Kejriwal's home on Monday.

This, early reports indicated, was while waiting to meet the Chief Minister. The police confirmed two emergency calls were made from Mr Kejriwal's home from a number registered to Ms Maliwal.

No immediate complaint was filed; in fact, Ms Maliwal then went incommunicado.

READ | Kejriwal Office Staffer "Misbehaved" With Swati Maliwal: AAP Leader

On Tuesday, over 24 hours after the alleged assault, the AAP finally issued a statement.

Senior member Sanjay Singh confirmed a "distressing incident" had taken place and said the party would support Ms Maliwal, whom he acknowledged as "one of the party's oldest leaders".

It wasn't till Thursday that Ms Maliwal recorded her statement and the case was filed.

AAP Under Attack

The row has given the BJP ample ammunition with which to attack the AAP and Mr 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.

AAP Accused In Liquor Policy Row

Shortly after the police landed up at Mr Kejriwal's home, there was further trouble for the AAP.

The Enforcement Directorate - which arrested the Chief Minister in March in the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam - named, for the first time ever, an entire political party as an accused in a case.

The landmark move by the federal agency - which the opposition has accused of targeting opposition parties and leaders on instructions from the ruling BJP - could lead to the AAP being de-recognised, which could prove to be a fatal blow in the midst of a general election.

The AAP and Mr Kejriwal have denied all charges in the alleged liquor policy row, and have accused the BJP of orchestrating a "political vendetta" to defame party and leader during the election.

READ | In A First, AAP Named As Accused In Delhi Liquor Policy Case

The ED has claimed Arvind Kejriwal manipulated the liquor excise policy (now scrapped) to get bribes of Rs 100 crore - which included funds from a 'South group' led by arrested Telangana lawmaker K Kavitha - for allotment of licenses. This money was allegedly then used to fund poll campaigns.

Last week the Supreme Court released Mr Kejriwal on interim bail in this matter, reasoning that as a sitting Chief Minister and leader of a national political party, he should be allowed to campaign during an election and could not be seen as a flight risk or habitual offender.

Mr Kejriwal is on bail till June 1, the end of the election, and must return to jail by June 2.

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