Ilmi tells police that her visit to protest site was not planned

Aam Aadmi Party leaders Ashutosh and Shazia Ilmi were questioned by the Delhi Police on Thursday in connection with the violent protest by their party members outside the BJP headquarters on Wednesday. Both were later let off.

While Mr. Ashutosh was questioned at the Mandir Marg police station, Ms. Ilmi’s statement was recorded at the Parliament Street police station.

Ms. Ilmi, it is learnt, told the police that her visit to the protest site was not planned. She was on her way to a panel discussion when she saw her party members outside the BJP headquarters and had joined them.

She said the protest was peaceful and she had no part in the violence. Nor did she incite anyone to take the law into their own hands.

Talking to journalists after a four-hour-long quizzing session, Mr. Ashutosh also toed a similar line. He had actually been trying to pacify the protesters, he said. He also wondered why no case had been registered against BJP workers. He specifically named BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli, who, he alleged, brandished a stick. During their interaction with the police, the AAP leaders expressed regret at the situation having taken a violent turn.

During the day, AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Somnath Bharti visited the Parliament Street police station. Both said violence of any kind was anathema to their party.

On not taking any action against the BJP workers, police said it was the AAP volunteers who had tried to barge into the BJP office and started pelting stones. Prima facie, the police claimed, it appeared that the BJP workers had only retaliated. A senior police officer, however, said some BJP activists may face legal action because some AAP volunteers were also injured.

The Delhi Police have sent copies of a detailed report on the incident to the Delhi Election Commission, its own Election Cell and the Delhi government.

On Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to discuss the violence.

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