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Indian court sends top opposition leader to prison until April 15

A COURT in India placed a top opposition leader in two weeks of judicial detention today after the expiration of a 10-day stint in the custody of a federal agency.

Opposition parties say the case is part of a crackdown against rivals by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s far-right government ahead of a national election later this month.

Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is the top elected official in the city of New Delhi.

He was arrested by the federal Enforcement Directorate on March 21. 

A day later the court remanded him to six days of custody, which was extended by another four days on Thursday. With the expiration of his detention by the directorate on Monday, the New Delhi court ordered him held in judicial custody until April 15.

The agency, controlled by Mr Modi’s government, accused the AAP party and ministers of accepting 1 billion rupees (£9.5 million) in bribes from liquor contractors nearly two years ago. 

The arrest triggered days of protests by hundreds of party activists supported by other opposition parties.

Mr Kejriwal denies the accusations.

The party is part of a broad alliance of opposition parties called INDIA, which launched its campaign on Sunday to unseat Mr Modi’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party in the coming elections.

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