The Punjab police filed a case against former Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas under various charges for his "inflammatory" remarks targeting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in an interview in the runup to the Punjab assembly elections earlier this year. Without directly naming him, Kumar Vishwas had said that Arvind Kejriwal wants to be the Prime Minister of an independent nation of Khalistan.
Kumar Vishwas, who was a founding member of the Aam Aadmi Party, had alleged that Mr Kejriwal had connections with separatists in Punjab and those having sympathy with separatists used to come to his house for meetings during the last assembly polls.
A police team reached his residence this morning to serve notice asking him to join the investigation. Opposition parties have attacked the Punjab government, accusing it of misusing the police for political vendetta. Hours after the police visit to the former AAP leader, Congress leader Alka Lamba claimed on Twitter that the Punjab police has reached her residence as well. She did not provide any more details.
पंजाब पुलिस मेरे घर पहुँच चुकी है...— Alka Lamba (@LambaAlka) April 20, 2022
The police have said the case was registered based on a complaint against Kumar Vishwas.
"The complainant said that when he was campaigning in a village along with AAP supporters, some masked men stopped them and called them Khalistani. Similar incidents have been regularly occurring. All this started after Kumar Vishwas gave inflammatory statements against AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal on news channels/ social media platforms alleging AAP links with separatist elements," stated the FIR.
"As a result of these statements and videos, the peaceful atmosphere of the state of Punjab is likely to be disturbed," the FIR further read.
As part of the investigation, notice has been served upon Kumar Vishwas to produce whatever evidence he has to support his allegations.
The matter is being investigated as per facts and law, Punjab Police said.
Punjab | A case was registered on a complaint against former AAP leader Kumar Vishwas. He has been booked under Sections 153, 153-A, 505, and others of IPC at Rupnagar's Sadar police station: HS Atwal, Ropar SP pic.twitter.com/sdfp7XK49S— ANI (@ANI) April 20, 2022
"The Punjab police arrived at my doorstep early morning. I am cautioning Bhagwant Mann, who I admitted into the party myself, that the person sitting in Delhi who you are letting play with the power given by the people of Punjab, will betray both you and Punjab one day. The country should remember my warning," the former AAP leader had said on Twitter along with some pictures of cops at his residence.
सुबह-सुबह पंजाब पुलिस द्वार पर पधारी है।एक समय, मेरे द्वारा ही पार्टी में शामिल कराए गए @BhagwantMann को आगाह कर रहा हूँ कि तुम, दिल्ली में बैठे जिस आदमी को, पंजाब के लोगों की दी हुई ताक़त से खेलने दे रहे हो वो एक दिन तुम्हें व पंजाब को भी धोखा देगा।देश मेरी चेतावनी याद रखे???????????? pic.twitter.com/yDymGxL1gi— Dr Kumar Vishvas (@DrKumarVishwas) April 20, 2022
The Centre had also granted 'Y' category security cover to the poet-turned-politician Kumar Vishwas after he accused Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal of having links with separatist outfits.
The case has triggered a war of words on Twitter, with both the BJP and Congress condemning the action and AAP leaders defending it.
BJP Punjab General secretary Subhash Sharma accused Arvind Kejriwal of using the Punjab police to settle personal scores. "The police landing first at Tajinder Bagga's residence and now Kumar Vishwas shows that Bhagwant Mann has fully surrendered in front of Arvind Kejriwal," he said in a Tweet.
यह तो कमाल ही है की @ArvindKejriwal अपनी निजी दुश्मनी निकालने के लिए @PunjabPoliceInd का इस्तेमाल कर रहा है । पहले @TajinderBagga अब @DrKumarVishwas के घर पुलिस का जाना दर्शाता है कि @BhagwantMann ने केजरीवाल के आगे पूरे घुटने टेक दिए हैं ।पंजाब दा रब्ब राखा । pic.twitter.com/0OGJjAmEUA— Subhash Sharma (@DrSubhash78) April 20, 2022
Taking a shot at the Aam Aadmi Party's "badlav (change)" poll pitch, Congress MLA and former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa called it a "badla (revenge)" government. Like other critics, he also accused Arvind Kejriwal of using the Punjab police for vengeance.
"The Badlav Govt is actually BADLA Govt. A suggestion to you @BhagwantMann, to work on the law and order situation in Punjab than using the Punjab Police with a policy of vengeance at the behest of @ArvindKejriwal. Policy of vendetta always backfires," he said in a tweet.
The Badlav Govt is actually BADLA Govt.A suggestion to you @BhagwantMann,to work on the law and order situation in Punjab than using the Punjab Police with a policy of vengeance at the behest of @ArvindKejriwal.Policy of vendetta always backfires. pic.twitter.com/S1k9A2AyZM— Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (@Sukhjinder_INC) April 20, 2022
Punjab Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira also made a similar accusation, questioning how AAP is different from other traditional parties if it 'misuses' the police.
"I strongly condemn this act of political vendetta against @DrKumarVishwas for making a statement against @ArvindKejriwal during elections! Whats the difference between @AamAadmiParty and traditional parties? I urge @BhagwantMann not to misuse Pb police to settle political scores!" he tweeted.