MLA Amanatullah Khan Gets Bail, AAP's 'Silence' Questioned

"The nefarious intentions of BJP have been given a slap by the judiciary," the MLA's wife Shafia Khan tweeted.

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New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan received bail on Friday, May 13, a day after he was arrested for demonstrating against a demolition drive in New Delhi’s Madanpur Khadar.

The AAP leader and five others were arrested on charges of rioting and obstructing public servants in discharge of their duty on Thursday, May 12.

The demolition drive had led to pitched protests at Madanpur Khadar, where locals said that legal structures were being bulldozed. Khan had also been on the forefront of protests in Shaheen Bagh, where similar demolition drives were taken up.

The MLA’s wife Shafia Khan tweeted through his official account that a Saket court has given him bail. The Wire has learnt that Khan has had to furnish two bonds Rs 50,000 each. Khan is likely to be released at around 8 pm from Tihar jail.

“The nefarious intentions of BJP have been given a slap by the judiciary,” Shafia Khan tweeted.

On Friday, the news agency ANI reported that the Delhi police had “declared” Khan a “history-sheeter and bad character” on March 30.

Former AAP leader and now in BJP, Kapil Mishra appeared to have tweeted a copy of the Delhi Police’s “report,” signed by the station house officer of the Jamia Nagar Police Station.

Delhi neighbourhoods down shutters

Shops in the markets of Delhi’s Jamia Nagar and Shaheen Bagh downed their shutters in protest against the arrest.


Speaking with PTI on Friday, municipal councillor Abdul Wajid Khan said all markets in the area were closed in a show of solidarity.

Khan’s wife Shafia had also tweeted a plea for such a show of strength in Okhla. “I request the people of Okhla to keep their shops closed from 9 am to 5 pm tomorrow in protest against the arrest so that we can tell the BJP government that people are with their MLA,” she wrote.

Sirajuddin, who owns a mobile repair shop in Jamia Nagar, said, “Amanatullah Khan was wrongfully arrested yesterday. So today, we are protesting by keeping our shops closed. The entire market has responded to the call given by councillor Abdul Wajid Khan,” he said.

Rafiq, owner of a shop in Shaheen Bagh, said he closed down after seeing others in the area do the same.

“There is some kind of a strike today. I was told to shut down my shop. I have not opened it. Many in the area have also kept their establishments closed,” he added.

Amanatullah Khan and his supporters were arrested after being detained for several hours for taking part in the protest against the anti-encroachment drive in the Madanpur Khadar area, police officials said.

AAP’s silence

For almost the entire duration of Khan’s stay in custody, his party, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, had not commented publicly on his arrest. The party’s official handle, however, retweeted party leader Durgesh Pathak’s tweet on Khan receiving bail.

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh was one of those who tweeted on AAP’s silence on the arrest, noting that the MLA had opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens even when his party had not.

NDTV meanwhile has reported that AAP issued a warning to BJP Delhi chief Adesh Gupta alleging his house and office also encroach upon public land.

AAP has threatened to approach Gupta’s house with bulldozers if he does not remove the encroachments “by 11 am tomorrow.”