Updated May 19th, 2024 at 10:49 IST

Phone Formatted, Bibhav Evasive, Assault Could Have Been Fatal: What Police Said in Remand Paper

On Friday, Kejriwal’s former PA Bibhav was sent to five-day police custody though the police is seeking a seven-day remand.

Reported by: Manisha Roy
Delhi Police Arrests CM Kejriwal's Aide Bibhav Kumar in Swati Maliwal Assault Case | Image:Republic
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New Delhi: Following the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar in connection with AAP MP Swati Maliwal 'assault' case, the law enforcement claimed that the accused was evasive in his replies and was not cooperating during the probe. 

Before his arrest, Bibhav Kumar had stated in an email that he would cooperate with the probe. On Friday, Kejriwal’s former personal secretary was sent to five-day police custody though the police is seeking a seven-day remand. 

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In its remand paper submitted late Saturday evening, the Delhi Police said that it was a "serious case" where the "brutal assault" could have turned "fatal".
According to sources, the investigating agency told the Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Goyal,  who sent Kumar to five-day police custody, that he did not cooperate with the law enforcement and had been evasive in his replies.  

Serious Case, Assault Could Have Been Fatal: Delhi Police

"This is a very serious case where a Member of Parliament, a public figure, has been brutally assaulted which could have been fatal. Despite specific questions, the accused has not cooperated in the investigation and has been evasive in his replies," said the remand paper signed by North District Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Anjitha Chepyala. 

The remand application stated that Maliwal's statement before the court was corroborated by the medical evidence.
According to Maliwal's allegations, Kumar screamed, threatened and used abusive language against her, besides being "brutally assaulting", dragging and banging her head on a centre table, the report said. 

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It further stated that the evidence that could prove crucial to the probe was the digital video record (DVR) of the spot but it was yet to be furnished to the police. 

According to the remand paper, a junior engineer deployed at CM's residence who confessed that he did not have access to the place where the DVR and CCTV cameras were installed, later provided a video of the dining room but it was later found to be blank at the time of the alleged incident.
The application by the police mentioned that Kumar was present at CM's residence and after being questioned, provided evasive replies. 

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The remand paper also mentioned that Kumar’s presence at crime spot raises a strong possibility of tampering with crucial evidence and influencing witnesses.
"His presence at the scene of the crime (SOC) raises a strong possibility of tampering with crucial evidence, including electronic evidence. The accused is an influential person and having worked more than nine years in an authoritative position can influence, and pressure the witnesses in the CM house," it said.

Grounds for Quizzing Bibhav Kumar

Citing the reasons for police custody, the remand paper further stated that Kumar was still working at CM's residence despite being sacked from the post of CM's personal secretary in April 2024. It said that on the basis of this ground Kumar needed to be quizzed about the capacity and authority under which he was working. 

"Since a brutal attack is made on a public figure who is a sitting MP, a sustained interrogation is very much required to find out the motive behind brutal attack and to ascertain the conspiracy angles or involvement of some person or organisation having inimical to our country," the paper said.
It said that according to Kumar, he had formatted his mobile in Mumbai on Friday and that his mobile phone was password protected, hence the police could not access the data on his phone. 

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"Without the personal presence and assistance of the accused, as this instrument is password protected, the phone and its apps cannot be accessed. Also, he has to be taken to an expert to retrieve the mobile data and to ascertain the factum of formatting of the mobile phone of the accused, which is an important piece of evidence," the plea for remand said. 

CCTV Footage Disappeared, Claims Maliwal

Meanwhile, Maliwal has claimed that the videos that have emerged from CM’s house are edited and only show what happened after she was attacked. Maliwal claimed that the CCTV footage of the May 13 incident where she was allegedly assaulted at Kejriwal's residence has “disappeared.” 

In a post on X, Maliwal is former chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) wrote, "First I was thrashed brutally by Bibhav. He slapped and kicked me. When I freed myself and called 112, he went outside, called security personnel and started making a video. I was shouting and telling the security that Bibhav has thrashed me brutally."  

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"That long portion of the video has been edited. Only a 50-second video was released when I was fed up of telling the security. Now the phone has been formatted and the full video deleted? The CCTV footage has also disappeared. This is the height of conspiracy," Maliwal further in a post on X in Hindi. 

The AAP has attracted strong criticism over the alleged assault of Maliwal by Kejriwal’s aide. The party has so far claimed that the allegations by Maliwal were levelled against Kumar at the behest of the BJP, only to target Kejriwal. The BJP even claimed that the AAP circulated the videos on social media to ‘defame’ Maliwal. 
 

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Published May 19th, 2024 at 10:47 IST