Updated May 17th, 2024 at 13:22 IST

'Anti-women' Kejriwal Roaming Shamelessly With Bibhav: Sitharaman on Swati Maliwal Alleged Assault

A day after AAP MP Sanjay Singh promised action in the Maliwal case, accused Bibhav Kumar was seen with Kejriwal in Lucknow.

Reported by: Digital Desk
File Photo of Nirmala Sitharaman | Image:X
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New Delhi: Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman tore into Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not speaking on the issue of the alleged attack on his party MP Swati Maliwal and said he is instead "shamelessly" roaming around with accused Bibhav Kumar. 

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Sitharaman said it is unbelievable and unacceptable that Kejriwal has not spoken a word on the attack on his party's woman MP. For the unversed, a day after AAP MP Sanjay Singh promised action in the Maliwal case, accused Bibhav Kumar was seen with Kejriwal in Lucknow. 

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Furthermore, she demanded that the AAP convener speak on the issue and apologise. “The women in Delhi are asking - can this CM (Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal) even provide security to the women in the city? Arvind Kejriwal is responsible for this incident”, Saitharaman said in a hard-hitting statement.

The Finance Minister also cited charges of attack on women against several AAP leaders, including its New Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Somnath Bharti, to claim that it is an anti-women party.  She also took a swipe at the INDI leaders and the Gandhi family members, saying they would be voting for Bharti, who was accused of assaulting his pregnant wife.

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Highlighting concerns about the safety of women in the Aam Aadmi Party, Sitharaman referenced former AAP leader Madhu Bhaduri's statements made upon her departure from the party. "I am reading out her statement -Aam Aadmi Party has a mentality of a khap panchayat. There is no space for women. If the other women leaders have any self-respect, they will quit too," said Sitharaman.  

She also claimed that Maliwal is under pressure. “The fact that Swati Maliwal did not register a complaint in the Police for 3-4 days (after the incident) means that there was pressure on her from a high level. There is reason to believe that there was enough pressure on her and probably continues on her”, she added. 

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Earlier in the day, Swati Maliwal arrived at the Tis Hazari Court in Delhi to get her statement recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on Friday. Under Section 164, a magistrate can record a person's statement or confession during a police investigation before the trial.

An FIR was registered on Thursday in connection with the assault on Maliwal after she filed a complaint with the Delhi Police against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide, Bibhav Kumar for being assaulted at the Chief Minister's House. Kumar has been named in the FIR.

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According to the police FIR, Maliwal in her complaint said that she was slapped, hit on the stomach, attacked and kicked by Bibhav Kumar at the Chief Minister's residence. The Delhi police filed an FIR in connection with the alleged assault naming Bibhav Kumar.

The FIR has been registered under sections 354, 506, 509, and 323 of the IPC, among other sections, for offences including assault or criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, criminal intimidation, word gesture or acts of intent to insult and assault.

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Published May 17th, 2024 at 13:15 IST