UN Weighs In On India’s ‘Political Unrest’ After Kejriwal Arrest

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with a purported money laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi Excise policy “scam” case.

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'Hope Everyone's Rights Are Protected': UN Weighs In On India's 'Political Unrest' After Kejriwal Arrest
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves the Rouse Avenue Court after being produced by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi Excise Policy case, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Arvind Kejriwal Arrest: The United Nations “hopes” the “political and civil rights” of all people are “protected” in India and everyone is is able to vote in the upcoming general elections in a “free and fair” atmosphere.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, made these remarks Thursday while responding to a question on the “political unrest” in India ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 in the wake of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest and freezing of the opposition Congress’ bank accounts.

“What we very much hope that in India, as in any country that is having elections, that everyone’s rights are protected, including political and civil rights, and everyone is able to vote in an atmosphere that is free and fair,” Dujarric said at the daily press briefing Thursday.

The world body’s response comes a day after the United States issued a similar response to a query on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief’s arrest and freezing of Congress’ accounts.

US holds stance on Kejriwal arrest

Hours after India summoned a senior US diplomat to protest the country’s remarks on Kejriwal’s arrest, Washington on Wednesday reiterated its stance, asserting that it encourages fair, transparent, timely legal processes

“I’m not going to talk about any private diplomatic conversations. But of course what we have said publicly is what I just said from here, that we encourage fair, transparent, timely legal processes. We don’t think anyone should object to that, and we’ll make the same thing clear privately,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller when asked about India summoning a US diplomat in protest.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials summoned Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Gloria Berbena to their office in South Block in the Indian capital. The meeting lasted for more than 30 minutes.

Any ‘external imputation’ not acceptable: MEA

On Thursday, India said the US State Department’s recent remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are “unwarranted” and asserted the country is “proud of its independent and robust democratic institutions” and committed to protect them from any form of undue external influences.

Any “external imputation” on India’s electoral and legal processes is “completely unacceptable”, MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in New Delhi during his weekly press briefing.

In India, legal processes are driven “only by the rule of law”, Jaiswal said on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, the MEA had said in a statement that India took strong objection to the remarks of the Spokesperson of the US State Department about certain legal proceedings in India.

“India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. Casting aspersions on that is unwarranted,” the MEA had said.

Arvind Kejriwal Arrest

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convener Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with a purported money laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi Excise policy “scam” case.

Kejriwal’s arrest has triggered mass protests by AAP cadres across the country, especially in national capital New Delhi.

Opposition INDIA bloc, of which AAP is a part of, has announced that they will hold a “maha rally” at the Ramlila Maidan in the national capital on March 31.

(With PTI inputs)

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