NEW DELHI: Former AAP leader and founder member of ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’ Yogendra Yadav was on Tuesday arrested along with 85 supporters for violating prohibitory orders by staging a protest at Jantar Mantar here demanding adequate compensation for the farmers. He was later released by a court.
Following the arrest, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came out in support of Yadav, with whom he had a bitter public fall out earlier leading to the latter’s ouster from the party.
The AAP leaders tried to reach out, however, they were snubbed by Yadav’s supporters.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh along with his supporters went to Parliament Street police station to meet Yadav, but he was heckled and booed away by the ex-party leader’s supporters.
Yadav and former AAP leader and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan were expelled from the party in April after they raised questions over the functioning style of party chief Kejriwal.
The two expelled AAP leaders formed Swaraj Abhiyan and started a campaign -- Jai Kisan Andolan -- against the alleged “anti-farmer” policies of the Centre.
“Yadav and 85 others were arrested at around 1.30 am today (Tuesday). They had permission to carry out the protest for two days. Last evening, they asked to extend their permission until August 16. As the deadline got over, we asked them to vacate the place,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Vijay Singh.
Later in the day, Yadav and the other volunteers were produced before a Special Magistrate at Mandir Marg police station. The Special Magistrate ordered unconditional release of Yadav and other members.
Yadav alleged that he and his men were thrashed and beaten up by the policemen. The Deputy Commissioner of Police, however, claimed that none of his members were manhandled.
Asked about the allegations, Delhi Police chief B S Bassi said the police have always acted in the ambit of law. They were holding the ‘tractor rally’ demanding adequate compensation to the farmers. Their rally culminated into a day-long protest at Jantar Mantar on Sunday, which was attended by farmers from several states.