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An Aam Admi Party (AAP) member was behind posters that cropped up in Delhi criticizing PM Narendra Modi’s handling of the Covid crisis, the police said.

AAP leaders behind poster criticizing PM Modi and vaccination campaign

The accused, identified as AAP member and President of Ward 47, Arvind Gautam, is now on the run, they said.

The posters, with white text on black background, sarcastically asked in Hindi: “Modi ji, why did you send vaccines meant for our children, abroad?

AAP leaders behind poster criticizing PM Modi and vaccination campaign

“No details of the printing press/publisher were mentioned on these posters…The accused persons disclosed during interrogation that Arvind Gautam had sent an order on WhatsApp to Rahul…and ₹ 9,000 for printing and affixing these posters/hoarding,” the statement said.

The police have registered 25 FIRs underneath sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and different related sections and arrested as many individuals for allegedly pasting the posters.

While Congress MP Rahul Gandhi attached a digital version of the poster to his Twitter handle and said “arrest me too”.

Senior AAP leader and MCD incharge Durgesh Pathak took the responsibility for the posters and alleged harassment of AAP workers at the hands of Delhi police over the issue.

“I would like to tell the Delhi Police and the BJP that you cannot arrest somebody for asking such questions because we live in a democracy. But despite this if you want to arrest, then we would like to tell you that these posters were put up by AAP, by me. If you want to arrest, then arrest us, arrest our MLAs. But please stop harassing poor people,” Pathak said alleging that at least 500 AAP workers were detained by Delhi police in connection with the posters.

This was in response to the acute vaccine shortage India faced during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country had exported a large number of made-in-India doses as part of what was dubbed “vaccine diplomacy” before the disease turned particularly deadly at home around February.

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