Did Arvind Kejriwal receive $16 million from Khalistani groups for releasing Devendra Bhullar? What fresh claims say

Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena's office wrote a letter to the Union home secretary seeking an NIA probe against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal over allegations that he received political funding from banned terrorist organisations.

Written By Akriti Anand
First Published6 May 2024, 09:52 PM IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (left); Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (left); Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, is accused of receiving political funding from the banned terrorist organisation 'Sikhs for Justice'. Taking action over a complaint, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recommended a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Kejriwal and the AAP. Saxena's principal secretary wrote a letter to the home secretary on May 3, listing the allegations against Kejriwal and seeking the NIA probe.

Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP's national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister, is currently under judicial custody in connection with the alleged scam in the Delhi excise policy case. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21.

Here's what the letter from Saxena's office alleged against Kejriwal:

In the letter to the Union home secretary, the Lieutenant Governor's secretariat said Saxena had received a complaint that the Kejriwal-led AAP allegedly received $16 million in funding from extremist Khalistani groups for facilitating the release of Devendra Pal Bhullar, a convicted terrorist.

The complainant referred to a video released by Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. In the purported video mentioned in the letter, Pannun had alleged that the Kejriwal-led AAP received $16 million from Khalistani groups between 2014 and 2022. Pannun is also the founder of the banned organisation 'Sikhs For Justice'.

The complainant also alleged that Kejriwal held closed-door meetings with Khalistani leaders at Gurudwara Richmond Hills, New York, during his visit in 2014. During the meeting, Kejriwal allegedly promised to facilitate the release of Bhullar in return for substantial financial backing from Khalistani factions to the AAP.

The letter read: "It has also been alleged that a clandestine meeting occurred in 2014 between Kejriwal and pro-Khalistani Sikhs at Gurudwara Richmond Hills, New York. During the said meeting. Kejriwal purportedly promised to facilitate release of Devender Pal Bhullar, in return for substantial financial backing from Khalistani factions to Aam Aadmi Party."

The complainant also mentioned that a former AAP worker, Munish Kumar Raizada, had shared purported pictures of Kejriwal’s meeting with Khalistani leaders.

"The complainant has also stated that as per tweets on Platform 'X' (erstwhile Twitter) Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada, who was a worker in AAP, shared a picture of Arvind Kejriwal and Sikh leaders that took place at Richmond Hill Gurudwara, New York, United States of America, in 2014," the letter stated.

It added, "In his tweets, he [Raizada] also confirmed that apart from attending public meetings, Kejriwal held a closed-door meeting, at the Richmond Hills Gurudwara, with Pro-Khalistani Sikh Leaders."

As per Saxena's principal secretary's letter, the complainant had also mentioned that Kejriwal had written to former President Pranab Mukherjee seeking "clemency for Bhullar".

"In this context, a copy of a letter by Arvind Kejriwal, addressed to one Iqbal Singh is enclosed. The letter dated 27.01.2014 mentions that our government is sympathetic to the issue and would take all necessary steps to ensure full justice," the complainant informed Saxena.

Besides, the complainant further mentioned that the Delhi government has already recommended to the President the release of Professor Bhullar and would be working on other issues, including the formation of SIT, etc.

"The same was widely reported in the media. As per news reports of that time, Iqbal Singh was sitting on a fast at Jantar Mantar, demanding a written assurance for the release of Bhullar. He ended the fast after receiving the letter from Kejriwal," the letter to the home secretary stated.

Who is Devendra Pal Bhullar?

Devendra Pal Bhullar is a former professor. He was convicted in connection with the killing of nine people in a bomb blast in 1993 in Delhi. He was sentenced to death by a designated TADA court on August 25, 2001. He is undergoing life imprisonment after the Supreme Court commuted his death sentence. He is currently lodged in the Amritsar Central Jail.

Action sought against Kejriwal

The Lt governor's secretariat's letter stated that the electronic evidence shared by the complainant requires investigation, including forensic examination. The complainant had shared a pen drive with Pannun's video, screenshots of the former AAP worker's posts on X and some pictures of Kejriwal.

“Keeping in view the sensitivity and seriousness of the allegations levelled in the complaint, Hon'ble Lt. Governor has desired that the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, may consider referring the matter to National Investigation Agency for conducting a comprehensive investigation into the matter," the letter stated.

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First Published:6 May 2024, 09:52 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaDid Arvind Kejriwal receive $16 million from Khalistani groups for releasing Devendra Bhullar? What fresh claims say

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