Enforcement Directorate arrests Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi excise policy case

New Delhi : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday night in an excise policy-linked money-laundering case, officials said.

The arrest, the first of a sitting chief minister, came hours after the Delhi High Court refused to grant protection to the AAP national convener from any coercive action by the agency.

The 55-year-old leader’s arrest, amid campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, drew angry reactions from his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Soon after the high court order, an ED team reached his residence and carried out searches. Subsequently, he was arrested, officials said.

Officials said the ED would produce the chief minister before a court here on Friday and seek his custody for interrogation.

As the ED officials carried out their action inside, additional Delhi Police personnel and Rapid Action Force (RAF) and CRPF teams were deployed around the chief minister’s residence.

The additional deployment was made as the ED sought extra security measures in anticipation of protests by AAP supporters, sources said.

A large number of AAP workers and leaders gathered near the chief minister’s residence and shouted slogans against the ED action.

During the day, Kejriwal moved the Supreme Court against the high court’s order denying him relief in the matter.

The ED’s action is virtually a replay of what transpired during the arrest last week of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha, who is now in ED custody in the same case.

The case pertains to alleged corruption and money-laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.