Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar was on Tuesday arrested on charges of cheating and fraud in obtaining his law degree, a development that immediately triggered a strong attack by the ruling AAP against Centre calling it political vendetta.
PTI reported that the police arrested the 49-year-old AAP leader from his house on Tuesday morning and took him to Vasant Vihar police station for further questioning. Tomar was arrested on the basis of a criminal complaint filed by the Bar Council of India, according to CNN-IBN. Times Now reported that an FIR had been filed against Tomar at 3.30 am on Tuesday.
A police team had earlier gone to Bihar on the direction of High Court to investigate charges that Tomar had obtained a fake degree.
Tomar has been charged under various IPC Sections including 420 (cheating). Speaking to CNN-IBN, he said, “I am with some inspectors who are taking me to the Hauz Khas police station without any notice.”
He added that 30-40 police officers had come to his office to take him to the police station. “This is being done to tarnish the image of the AAP. This is political harassment,” Tomar said.
AAP leader Ashutosh also said that the Delhi police officials slapped Tomar when he was in their custody and tried to force him to sign some papers.
“Delhi police officials manhandled me and Kumar Vishwas too,” Ashutosh said.
Ashutosh also said, “There is an emergency-like situation in Delhi. BJP is trying to de-stabilise the government.”
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia told the media that vested interests were ganging up against the AAP government because of its anti-corruption campaign but vowed that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won’t be cowed down.
Sisodia said although the issue of Tomar’s alleged fake degree was in the court, about 40 police personnel swooped on Tomar’s office and took him away as if he was a fugitive.
Delhi Police does not report to the AAP government but to the Lt. Governor and the union home ministry.
“The police told Tomar they had come to see some documents… They asked him to accompany them to his house. On the way they told his driver to get off and took charge of his vehicle and told him he was being detained.
“They told Tomar that he could ask someone to bring the documents to the police station.
“What is going on?” asked a livid Sisodia. “Was he (Tomar) running away? Did he explode bombs in Delhi? There is an allegation (against him). The matter is in the court. What was the need to arrest him?”
Sisodia added: “There is something wrong… This arrest is illegal. There is an Emergency-like situation. This is supposed to be a democracy… Maybe it is an attempt to teach the AAP a lesson (for what we are doing).”
Kumar Vishwas also reacted to Tomar’s arrest and said, “You cannot arrest a minister like he’s a terrorist.”Another AAP leader Sanjay Singh accused the Centre of using “pressure tactics” against the Delhi government. “The concerned university has filed its reply in the court. It also recorded the statement that the degrees are genuine. Then why was he arrested?
“The Lt Governor, Delhi Police Commissioner and the Modi government are trying to scare us with such tactics. But we are not going to be scared. Our fight against corruption will continue,” Singh said.