The Delhi Police has strengthened security at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence after the Aam Aadmi Party called for a “gherao”, or encirclement, to protest against the arrest of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, reported PTI.

The Enforcement Directorate arrested Kejriwal on March 21 in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case. On Friday, a Delhi court sent him to the central agency’s custody until March 28.

Following this, Delhi minister Gopal Rai announced plans to “gherao” the prime minister’s residence and said that announced plans to “gherao”.

In response, the police beefed up security in several parts of the national capital.

“Robust security arrangements have been made,” an unidentified Delhi Police officer was quoted as saying by PTI. “We have installed layers of security to maintain law and order in the area.”

The official said that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been imposed around the prime minister’s residence, prohibiting the gathering of more than five persons.

The traffic movement in Central Delhi is likely going to be affected by the protest and the police arrangements, said a traffic police officer.

Leaders of the Opposition INDIA bloc have been criticising Kejriwal’s arrest, calling it unconstitutional and illegal.

The Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, or INDIA bloc, is a coalition of Opposition parties that is taking on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in the Lok Sabha polls. The Aam Aadmi Party is a member of the coalition.

On Sunday, Rai announced that the INDIA bloc will hold a mega rally on March 31 at Delhi’s Ramleela Maidan to protest against the Aam Aadmi Party chief’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate.

‘Schemes, subsidies will not be affected’: Delhi government

Meanwhile, the Delhi government on Tuesday announced that public services, social welfare schemes and subsidies will not be affected by the chief minister’s arrest, reported ANI.

A press note issued by the Planning Department said that speculation and rumours were being spread by “notorious elements with vested interest” that schemes and subsidies would be stopped.

“All public services social welfare schemes and subsidies currently given by Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi shall continue uninterrupted,” said the press note. “People should not be misled by any fear-mongering and malicious disinformation in this regard.”

The Delhi government said social welfare funds were “neither the personal property of any individual or political entity nor funded by an individual or entity’s personal money”.

Liquor policy case

The Enforcement Directorate’s case is based on a first information report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation alleging irregularities in the Delhi government’s now-scrapped liquor excise policy.

The policy came into effect in November 2021. It was withdrawn on July 30, 2022, with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommending an investigation into the alleged irregularities of the policy.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate have alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party government modified Delhi’s liquor excise policy to ensure a 12% profit margin for wholesalers and a nearly 185% profit margin for retailers.

The Enforcement Directorate has also claimed that members of a “South Group” had paid at least Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party through businessman Vijay Nair, who is currently in jail.

Hours before Kejriwal’s arrest on Thursday, electoral bond data released by the Election Commission showed a company linked to another person accused in the same case, P Sarath Chandra Reddy, had donated Rs 5 crore to the BJP in 2022, just five days after he was taken in custody. Another Rs 25 crore was donated to the BJP after Reddy turned approver in the case.