New Delhi: Senior Aam Aadmi Party leaders Ashutosh and Shazia Ilmi were today taken by police for questioning after they were named in an FIR and accused of instigating violence outside BJP headquarters yesterday.
Both the leaders had yesterday led a violent protest outside BJP office in Ashoka Road in the heart of the national capital hours after AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal was briefly detained in North Gujarat.
Amid speculation that they would be arrested, Ilmi was picked up by a team of women police personnel from her Greater Kailash residence and brought to Parliament Street Police where she was questioned by senior police officials for around one-and-a-half hours. She was allowed to go later.
“She (Ilmi) was brought to the police station for questioning and was released after that. Further investigation is on,” said a senior police official.
Journalist-turned politician Ashutosh was picked up from AAP’s Model Town office and was taken to Mandir Marg police station where he was questioned for more than an hour.
Ashutosh tweeted at around 6 PM, “Still in Mandir Marg Thana. Interrogation over. Waiting for medical check up. Not arrested yet.”
Speaking to reporters after her questioning, Ilmi who claimed that she was detained said that they did not start violence.
“Our supporters only retaliated. BJP workers attacked AAP supporters which was very unfortunate. Today, I was interrogated by police officials about whether I pelted stones on other side or not…who were those people carrying stones and sticks from the other side.
“As per our ideology, we are always ready for being beaten and not for beating others,” she said.
Ilmi also said that she and Ashutosh were only detained by the police.
“I was interrogated by police in a proper manner…I easily answered all questions asked by the police. I and Ashutosh didn’t instigate our supporters for retaliation, instead we were pacifying them,” she said while also claiming that AAP supporters were brutally beaten. but conceded that “we should not have retaliated”.
Asked about the Election Commission’s notice over yesterday’s clash, she said that she hasn’t come to know about any such notice.
“If such notice has been served by the Election Commission, AAP would put its stand before the commission,” she said.
AAP leader and former Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti had also reached the police station.
An FIR was lodged last night at Parliament Street Police station against Ilmi and Ashutosh and other AAP volunteers in connection with clashes outside BJP headquarters here.
Police had initially detained 33 people out of which 14 were arrested late last night while others were allowed to go. A local court granted bail to those 14 AAP volunteers this afternoon.
“All those identifiable and present at the protest site have been named in the FIR,” a senior Delhi Police official said.
Around 28 people, including 13 AAP activists and 10 BJP supporters, were injured in the clashes, police said.
Police said they have got the entire sequence of events videographed. Senior officials said more arrests are likely in the case.