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Ahead of ED summon, Kejriwal arrives for 10-day Vipassana camp in Punjab

Hoshiarpur, Punjab: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, summoned by the ED for questioning on December 21, arrived for a 10-day Vipassana meditation course at a Vipassana centre in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district on Wednesday.

Kejriwal arrived at the Dhamma Dhaja Vipassana centre, located at Anandgarh, around 11 km from Hoshiarpur, even as the Enforcement Directorate had issued fresh summons to the Delhi chief minister for questioning in the excise policy-linked money laundering case.

He had left at around 1.30 pm on Wednesday for the pre-scheduled meditation course. It is for the first time that the AAP national convener will be practising Vipassana in Punjab.

Kejriwal, a regular practitioner of Vipassana, had practised it in Jaipur, Nagpur, and Bengaluru in the past.

Vipassana is an ancient Indian meditation technique in which practitioners abstain from any communication, either by talking or via gestures, for an extended period to restore their mental well-being.

Kejriwal will commence a 10-day mindfulness meditation retreat scheduled to start at 8 pm.

A spokesperson of Dhamma Dhaja Vipassana meditation centre said Vipassana is described as an age-old, non-sectarian technique aimed at eliminating mental impurities and promoting mental health and well-being.

The code of discipline for the course involves moral conduct (sila) as the foundation of the practice, leading to the development of concentration of mind (samadhi) and purification of the mind through the wisdom of insight (panna).

During this meditation retreat, Kejriwal will refrain from participating in any official duties and will adhere to the centre’s regulations, which include abstaining from the use of mobile phones, internet, television, or newspapers.

Kejriwal will adhere to a stringent daily routine, starting at 4 am and concluding at 9:30 pm. His meals will consist of simple food, with no meal permitted after midday. Accommodations will include a bed, along with simple bedding.

Participants are prohibited from interacting with each other, with communication restricted to specific intervals with their trainers, said the spokesperson.

The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday had questioned the timing of the ED summons, saying the party’s lawyers are studying the notice and “legally correct” steps will be taken.

They said Kejriwal’s Vipassana session was “pre-scheduled” and the information was in the public domain.

“Everyone knows the chief minister is leaving for Vipassana on December 19. He regularly goes for this meditation course. It’s a pre-scheduled and pre-announced plan,” AAP MP Raghav Chadha had said.

Earlier, Kejriwal was summoned by the ED on November 2 but he skipped the questioning alleging the notice was illegal and politically motivated.

(Published 20 December 2023, 16:55 IST)

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