Arvind Kejriwal protest: AAP supporters in New York, London, and other cities observe fast

Members and supporters of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) globally have observed a day of protest and fasting in solidarity with party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money-laundering case.

AAP protest in New York City
Aam Aadmi Party members and supporters hold a protest in New York City to demand the release of party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Photo courtesy: X/@AamAadmiParty

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21, hours after the high court refused to grant him protection from coercive action by the federal anti-money laundering agency. He is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Aam Aadmi Party protest in London
Aam Aadmi Party protest in London, with Big Ben in the backdrop. Photo courtesy: X/@@aartic02

AAP volunteers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia gathered in front of Indian embassies and popular locations on Monday to protest against Kejriwal’s arrest and call for his immediate release, a media release said. Mass fasts were also held in India, as seen in X posts shared by AAP.

“Arvind Kejriwal is a symbol of hope for millions of Indians who are fighting for a more just and equitable society,” said AAP member Jeswanth Reddy from Los Angeles. “His arrest is an attack on democracy and the right to dissent. We will not be silenced.”

AAP protest by Sikhs in England
Aam Aadmi Party protest by Sikhs in England for Arvind Kejriwal, with an image of Indian freedom-fighter and Sikh icon Bhagat Singh in the banner. Photo courtesy: X/@@aartic02

AAP volunteers in Washington DC held a vigil in front of the Indian Embassy, while AAP members and supporters in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Dublin, Berlin, Oslo, and Melbourne, among other cities, organised a day-long hunger strike in prominent locations.

“We are standing in solidarity with Arvind Kejriwal and all those who are fighting for justice and democracy in India,” said AAP volunteer Parveen Khard in London. “We will not rest until Kejriwal is released and the Modi government rescinds its authoritarian actions.”

Referring to these global protests, Pankaj Gupta, AAP National Secretary and Overseas Convener, said, “People from all over the world are showing their solidarity with our leader Arvind Kejriwal by fasting… and sending a clear message against the unjust arrest and harassment of opposition leaders in India. AAP’s strength has been its grassroots members around the world and their mass show of support is very encouraging.”

In various global cities, the AAP protesters demanded the immediate release of Kejriwal and other opposition leaders, including Manish Sisodia and Satyendra Jain (both of AAP) and Jharkhand ex-CM Hemant Soren (of JMM), among others. “Harassment of opposition parties must stop immediately and, finally, ensure free and fair parliamentary elections,” said Kamaljit Sidhu from AAP Toronto, Canada.