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Code-flout FIR on Kejriwal

Shazia Ilmi (front) leaves Parliament Street police station in Delhi after being questioned on Thursday. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, March 6: Election Commissioner H.S. Brahma today said Arvind Kejriwal had “violated” the model code of conduct by not seeking permission before his roadshow in Gujarat yesterday.

Brahma said the district commissioner of Patan had reported that the AAP leader ought to have taken permission. “Yes, he violated the MCC (model code),” Brahma said.

The poll commissioner’s comment came on a day Kutch police filed an FIR against Kejriwal for using a loudspeaker at a public meeting, as the AAP’s successive-day brush with law enforcement stretched from the national capital to Narendra Modi’s Gujarat.

In Delhi, police questioned AAP leaders Ashutosh and Shazia Ilmi, booked for rioting and damaging public property at a protest outside the BJP headquarters yesterday. The two were later allowed to go.

In Gujarat, a police officer said the FIR against Kejriwal had been lodged under IPC Section 188 for disobeying a public servant’s order while addressing a rally at Gandhidham in Kutch district.

“Kejriwal addressed a public rally today at Rishabh Circle of Gandhidham where he used a loudspeaker without the Election Commission’s permission. This is a breach of the model code of conduct, so we lodged an FIR,” SP Dipak Meghani said. “The Election Commission permitted us to file the FIR against him.”

In Delhi yesterday, AAP workers had stormed the BJP headquarters in protest against Kejriwal’s brief detention in Gujarat, apparently because his convoy had held up traffic. Stones and chairs flew in the pitched battle that ensued. “We arrested 14 AAP volunteers late last night. They were produced before the court today and got bail,” said a senior police officer.

The officer said Ashutosh and Ilmi, who were present outside the BJP office during the protest, were quizzed on last night’s incident. Delhi’s Election Commission has asked the police to send a detailed report.

AAP workers lashed out at what they called a “one-sided” action by the police while Ashutosh, a journalist-turned-politician, accused the cops of “taking orders” from Modi. “Delhi police are taking orders from Narendra Modi. They feel Modi is becoming Prime Minister and so are out to make him happy,” Ashutosh said, adding that Kejriwal’s campaign in Gujarat had unnerved the BJP mascot.

Ashutosh was picked up from the AAP office while a team of women police knocked on Ilmi’s Greater Kailash residence. Ilmi was brought to Parliament Street police station while Ashutosh was taken to Mandir Marg police station for questioning, which continued for over three hours.