Delhi LG recommends NIA probe against Kejriwal over ‘Khalistani political funding’; AAP rejects charge

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

New Delhi: Lt Governor V K Saxena has recommended an NIA probe against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on a complaint that his Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) allegedly received political funding from the banned terrorist organisation ‘Sikhs for Justice’, Raj Niwas sources said on Monday.

The AAP rejected the charge and alleged that the recommendation is “yet another conspiracy” against Kejriwal at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP). It called the LG “an agent” of the (BJP).

The LG’s move came against the backdrop of indications by the Supreme Court last week that it may consider granting Kejrwal interim bail on Tuesday in view of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The AAP chief, who is in Tihar jail, was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an excise policy linked money laundering case.

A letter to the Union Home secretary by the Principal Secretary to the LG said Saxena had received a complaint that the Kejriwal-led AAP allegedly received USD 16 million funding from extremist Khalistani groups “for facilitating the release of Devendra Pal Bhullar.” Bhullar is currently lodged in Amritsar Central Jail.

The complaint dated April 1 was sent to Saxena by one Ashoo Mongia, National General Secretary of World Hindu Federation India.

“Keeping in view, the sensitivity and seriousness of the allegations levelled in the complaint, Hon’ble Lt Governor has desired that the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, may consider referring the matter to the National Investigation Agency for conducting comprehensive investigation into the matter. This issues with the approval of Hon’ble Lt. Governor, Delhi,” read the Principal Secretary’s letter to the Union Home Secretary.

Bhullar was convicted in connection with the killing of nine people in a bomb blast in 1993 in Delhi. He was sentenced to death by a designated TADA court on August 25, 2001 and is undergoing life imprisonment after the Supreme Court commuted his death sentence.

In December 2023, the Delhi government’s sentence review board rejected premature release of Bhullar at its meeting. The Board viewed that the case of Bhullar was not fit for premature release in view of the fact that “such convict, if released, may still pose a direct threat to the sovereignty, integrity and tranquillity of the country,” said the minutes of the Board’s meeting.

The letter by the LG’s Principal Secretary stated that the complaint is made against a chief minister and relates to political funding received from a banned terrorist organisation.

“The electronic evidences adduced by the complainant requires investigation including forensic examination,” it said.

In the complaint to the LG, it has also been alleged that Kejriwal held closed-door meetings with Khalistani leaders at Gurudwara Richmond Hills, New York, during his visit in 2014. Kejriwal allegedly promised to facilitate the release of Bhullar in return for substantial financial backing from Khalistani factions to AAP, the complaint said. It has been alleged that the AAP received the political funding between 2014 and 2022.

In a series of posts on social media, a former AAP worker, Munish Kumar Raizada, also shared purported pictures of Kejriwal’s meeting with Khalistani leaders, the complaint said, according to sources.

“The complainant has also stated that as per tweets on Platform ‘X’ (erstwhile Twitter) Razada shared a picture of Sh. Arvind Kejriwal and Sikh leaders that took place at Richmond Hill Gurudwara, New York, in 2014….

“… It has also been mentioned in the letter that Sh Kejriwal wrote to former President Sh Pranab Mukherjee seeking clemency for Bhullar,” read the letter to the Union Home secretary.

In the letter, the LG’s principal secretary has also referred to the MHA, a letter written by Kejriwal to one Iqbal Singh in January 2014, mentioning that “the AAP Government has already recommended to the President the release of Prof. Bhullar and would be working on other issues including formation of SIT, etc. sympathetically and in a time-bound manner”.

Iqbal Singh was sitting on a fast at Jantar Mantar, demanding written assurance for the release of Bhullar and he ended his fast after receiving the letter from Kejriwal, r the letter said.

Reacting to the development, AAP leader and Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj called it “yet another conspiracy against Kejriwal at the behest of BJP”.

“They are losing all seven seats in Delhi and are rattled by the fear of defeat in Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

In a post on X, Bharadwaj said that the PIL demanding high level investigation in the same matter was dismissed by the Delhi High Court two years back.

“LG saab desperately trying to make headlines during Election season. This is complete misuse of constitutional office of LG. The PIL demanding high level investigation in the same matter was dismissed by HC two years back.

“The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla rejected the plea filed by one Jagdish Sharma, stating that it is “completely frivolous’,” the AAP said.

Bhullar was shifted to Amritsar Central Jail from Delhi’s Tihar Jail on health grounds in June 2015.

advertisement
READ MORE ARTICLES
Voting Poll
Should Centre conduct Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir?