The AAP on Sunday owned up to putting up posters in many parts of the city criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine, and said that its several workers were arrested and hundreds were being “harassed” by Delhi Police.
Senior AAP leader Durgesh Pathak said the police action will not deter the party and it will put up similar posters across the city and the country on a campaign mode.
“The AAP is behind these posters. I am behind the posters. Arrest me and our MLAs but do not harass poor people who paste posters for a meagre payment,” Pathak said in a press conference.
The Delhi Police has registered 25 FIRs and arrested as many people for allegedly pasting the posters, reading “Modiji humare bachhon ki vaccine videsh kyun bhej diya (PM why did you send vaccines meant for our children to foreign countries)”, in several parts of the city amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The FIRs were registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant sections, including section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, across various districts of the Delhi Police, officials had said.
Pathak said the people in the whole country were asking the same question why the prime minister and the BJP government exported crores of vaccine doses to 94 countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, which could have helped save thousands of lives in India.
“People are dying across the country due to COVID and there is no space in crematoriums and corpses are being seen floating in the rivers. These lives could have been saved if vaccines were not exported,” he claimed.
There is a severe vaccine shortage in the country and people spend hours looking for vaccine slots on their computers. The youth and the elderly are running from pillar to post for vaccines but it is not available, he claimed further.
“Delhi Police under the central government is registering FIRs and arresting people when they are questioning why vaccines meant for them and their children were given to other countries by the Prime Minister and the BJP government,” he said.
Several AAP workers from Mongolpuri, Ghonda, Karawal Nagar, Rithala and other parts of the city have been arrested. Also nearly 500 volunteers are being “harassed” by making them sit for hours at various police stations in this connection, he charged.
Delhi is facing vaccine shortage, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and other AAP leaders blaming the BJP-ruled Centre for exporting the doses abroad for “image management”.
Who sold vaccines meant for our children to other countries for event management? Sisodia tweeted on Sunday.
Earlier on the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that his government has written to the central government and two manufacturers but there was no indication of vaccine supply as yet.