Delhi Court extends custody of Arvind Kejriwal for 4 more days

New Delhi: An Indian court on Thursday extended custody of a top opposition leader for four more days after his arrest last week triggered protests. Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the federal Enforcement Directorate on March 21.

The agency accused Kejriwal’s party and ministers of accepting $12 million in bribes from liquor contractors nearly two years ago. The Aam Aadmi Party has denied the accusations and said Kejriwal will remain its chief minister as it fights the case in court.

In court on Thursday, Kejriwal called his arrest “a political conspiracy.” His political party is part of a broad alliance of opposition parties called INDIA, which is the main challenger to ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the coming election.

Hundreds of Kejriwal’s supporters have been holding protests since he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate, the federal agency that probes economic offenses, on Friday.

The agency has accused Kejriwal of being the “kingpin and key conspirator” in the liquor bribery case. Kejriwal has refuted the allegations and accused the directorate of “manipulating investigative agencies for political motives.”

Kejriwal’s case has dominated the news in India ahead of the general election, which starts April 19. India’s opposition parties say the government is misusing its power to harass and weaken its political opponents, pointing to a spree of raids, arrests and corruption investigations against key opposition figures. Meanwhile, some probes against erstwhile opposition leaders who later defected to the BJP have been dropped.

Kejriwal’s arrest is the latest setback for the bloc, and came after the country’s main opposition Congress party accused the government last week of freezing its bank accounts in a tax dispute to cripple it.

Image courtesy of HT

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