A posse of police swooped on party candidate Kumar Vishwas’s house late on Monday night, asking all family members who are not voters of Amethi to leave or else they will be arrested.
Though police said that it was enforcing orders of the Election Commission to make ‘outsiders’ leave Amethi after the time of campaigning ended on Monday evening, AAP leaders accused police and district administration of targeting only their party, while ignoring Congress and BJP.
The police first arrived at Vishwas’s house at Awas Vikas Colony at around 10.45pm asking family members who are not voters of Amethi to leave or else they would be arrested. A verbal duel ensued when Vishwas rejected police’s argument that his wife, sisters and children will also have to leave. He also challenged them to carry out similar exercise at places like Munshiganj guest house where Congress leaders are staying and BJP offices.
While the confrontation was on, some AAP volunteers informed media-persons and tweeted photographs of police surrounding Vishwas’s house. The police left at around 11.15pm when some TV channels arrived to cover the action live. However, as soon as channels left, police came back again.
Accusing police and district administration of taking one-sided action to help Congress rig the elections, Vishwas alleged that more than 15 incidents of attacks on AAP volunteers have taken place in the past four days but police has not taken any action despite written complaints naming attackers. “Congress leaders who thrashed AAP volunteers on Saturday are staying in Amethi but police is not arresting him. However, AAP volunteers are being booked at the drop of a hat on petty charges like raising slogans and pasting posters,” he said. He said that party is fighting at two fronts in the constituency — electoral battle against Congress and BJP as well harassment by district authorities. He also claimed that he can be arrested along with about 40 AAP volunteers in a false case under SC/ST Act, lodged by a local at the behest of Congress leaders.
However, when contacted, superintendent of police, Amethi, Hira Lal rubbished all allegations levelled by AAP leaders against the police and district administration. “There is no harassment of any kind. We are simply following the orders of the EC as per which people other than voters should be sent out of the district so as to ensure free and fair elections,” he said. “The drive is being carried out across the constituency,” he claimed. He also denied the allegation that the police was forcing Vishwas’s wife and sisters to leave Amethi stating, “We have information that there are around 40-50 persons inside his house and I am sure not everyone is a family member. We have asked for a list of immediate family member from Kumar Vishwas and those in the list will not be touched.”