"Pawan Khera’s arrest arbitrary, dictatorial, on baseless charges": Congress attacks BJP government

New Delhi [India], February 23 (ANI): Congress on Thursday attacked the Modi government over the arrest of party leader Pawan Khera, saying he was held on "totally baseless" charges and was detained "without providing any copy of the FIR, an arrest warrant, or a production warrant from the concerned magistrate".

In a strongly worded statement, party general secretary KC Venugopal said Khera’s arrest was "arbitrary and dictatorial and yet another cowardly attempt" to derail the 85th AICC Plenary being held in Raipur.

Khera was granted interim bail by a Dwarka court and the Congress thanked Supreme Court for being the voice of reason "in these testing times".

Venugopal said a group of INC leaders were travelling on a flight and Pawan Khera was deplaned and informed that the Assam Police will be arresting him.

"He was arrested on totally baseless charges, which were only trumped up because Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scared of being questioned on his relationship with Gautam Adani," Venugopal said.

"This charade is not going to deter us from raising questions about the manner in which the Modi government has systematically favoured the Adani group and is conspicuously silent on allegations of stock rigging, over valuation and benami money being pushed through a web of shell companies against the Adani Group of companies," he added.

Venugopal said the Enforcement Directorate had earlier raided Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, "clearly timed to intimidate our Chhattisgarh unit during the crucial planning stage of the plenary".

"The BJP is totally misguided if it believes that such laughable intimidation tactics are going to dissuade us from exposing its corruption and misgovernance. Pawan Khera is one of the most articulate voices of our party, who has consistently opposed and questioned the flawed policies and divisive agenda of the Modi government," he said.

Venugopal said the party stands with Khera and "strongly denounce the high handedness of the government".

The Congress said that ‘Haath Se Haath Jodo AICC Plenary’ will give a new vision to the country "and start the countdown for the end of BJP’s misrule at the Centre".

"We are all geared up for this historic occasion, and no force can stop us from our mission."Shortly after being granted interim bail by the Dwarka court, Khera alleged that he was deboarded from the aircraft and arrested by Assam Police in an illegal manner.

"Without furnishing a copy of FIR and notice, I was deboarded from the aircraft and arrested by Assam Police in an illegal manner. I have complete trust in the judicial system which protected my freedom of expression today," said Pawan Khera.

Khera said that he would strengthen the efforts of his leader Rahul Gandhi to protect this nation and protect constitutional values.

"Our struggle to protect this nation, protect constitutional values — my leader Rahul Gandhi is carrying on his struggle fearlessly, I will strengthen his efforts," he said.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Archana Beniwal granted interim bail to Khera on furnishing a bond of Rs 30,000.

The court while granting the relief also imposed some conditions.

The court granted the relief after hearing the submissions made by Randeep Surjewala and the Assam police.

Assam police sought the transit remand of Pawan Khera.

Randeep Surjewala submitted to the court that Assam police have not complied with the guidelines of the Arnesh Kumar case. He submitted that the grounds of arrest have not been provided and communicated.

"I am the ‘pairokar’ of the person being detained by the police. The matter was taken up today by the Chief Justice of India (CJI). CJI passed an order stating that the person be released on interim bail. CJI was very gracious to pass the order," he said. (ANI)