Arvind Kejriwal: The Indian opposition leader will remain in prison in the corruption case

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Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on corruption charges, which he denies

An Indian court has extended the detention of opposition leader Arvind Kejriwal until Monday in a corruption case.

The Delhi Chief Minister has denied allegations that he received bribes in the now-scrapped alcohol sale policy.

The ruling comes a day after the United States confirmed that it encourages a “fair” legal process in this case.

Kejriwal was arrested last week amid criticism from opposition parties that the government was stifling them ahead of general elections scheduled for April and May.

Kejriwal told the court that the case against him was a “political conspiracy” and that there was no concrete evidence to support the allegations against him.

But SV Raju, representative of Enforcement Directorate, Financial Crimes Unit, India, said Kejriwal was “evasive in his responses”.

After the hearing, Kejriwal's lawyer, Ramesh Gupta, told reporters that the Prime Minister “has no objection to his detention” but “opposes the grounds on which his remand is sought.”

Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party of political vendetta. The BJP denies the allegations, saying it works against corruption.

Mr Kejriwal is the third AAP leader to be arrested in connection with the alleged corruption case. An alliance of more than 20 opposition parties plans to organize a protest march in Delhi on Sunday against his arrest.

The BJP has alleged that the now-repealed alcohol policy – which ended the government's monopoly on liquor sales – gave undue advantages to private retailers. The CEO accused AAP leaders of receiving bribes to be used in the state elections. The party denies this accusation.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed on Wednesday that the United States is closely monitoring Kejriwal's arrest and actions taken against opposition parties in India.

“We encourage fair, transparent and timely legal processes [in both cases]. “We don't think anyone should object to that,” Miller said.

He had made similar remarks on Tuesday, prompting India to summon a senior US diplomat in Delhi to register its protest.

A spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said: “The recent statements are unjustified. In India, due process is driven by the rule of law. Anyone with a similar ethos, especially sister democracies, should have no difficulty in appreciating this fact.” Thursday.

The United States is the second country to comment on Kejriwal's arrest. Last week, the German Foreign Ministry said it hoped Kejriwal would get a “fair and impartial trial because India is a democracy.”

India responded strongly to these statements as well and summoned a German diplomat to express its objections.

Indian opposition leaders accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of using investigative agencies to paralyze their parties and stifle the opposition before the elections.

Hours before Kejriwal's arrest on March 21, India's main opposition Congress party also held a press conference in which it said the tax department had frozen his bank accounts ahead of the general election.

In January, police arrested prominent opposition leader Hemant Soren in a corruption case, hours after he resigned as chief minister of Jharkhand. Soren and his party have denied any wrongdoing and accused the BJP of stifling the opposition. The BJP rejected his claim.

Amnesty International He also said that the crackdown on peaceful dissent in India “has now reached a crisis point.”

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