The Indian government has expressed strong disapproval of comments made by German officials regarding the recent arrest of opposition leader Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal's arrest has sparked

protests in New Delhi, coinciding with the approaching national elections.

India summoned Georg Enzweiler, the deputy chief of mission at the German embassy, on Saturday to convey its "strong protest" over remarks made by German officials concerning Kejriwal's arrest last week.

Kejriwal, a prominent figure in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Chief Minister of Delhi, was arrested on corruption charges on Thursday night, just a month before the national elections.

The federal Enforcement Directorate agency, under the control of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, has accused Kejriwal's party and ministers of accepting 1 billion rupees ($12 million) in bribes from liquor contractors.

When asked about the arrest and charges, which Kejriwal and his party deny, a spokesperson for Germany's foreign office stated that Berlin had taken note of the situation. Sebastian Fischer remarked in a press conference on Friday that they expect the standards of judicial independence and basic democratic principles to be upheld in Kejriwal's case, emphasizing his right to a fair trial.

India has criticized Germany's stance, accusing them of interfering in its judicial process and undermining the independence of its judiciary. India's Ministry of External Affairs asserted that such biased assumptions were unwarranted, emphasizing India's status as a vibrant democracy governed by the rule of law.

Despite this diplomatic spat, India and Germany have traditionally maintained positive relations, particularly in strategic areas such as defense technology collaboration.

Meanwhile, protests in Delhi against Kejriwal's arrest continued for a second day, with demonstrators demanding his release and criticizing Prime Minister Modi's administration. They allege that Modi is governing the country under a state of emergency and using federal law enforcement agencies to suppress opposition parties ahead of the elections.

Balbir Singh, Punjab's health minister, described Kejriwal's arrest as an assault on democracy, accusing Modi's ruling party of subverting the rule of law. On Friday, clashes between AAP supporters, senior party leaders, and the police resulted in several detentions, highlighting the escalating tensions in the lead-up to the elections.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party refutes allegations of targeting the opposition, asserting that law enforcement agencies operate independently. Photo by Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), Wikimedia commons.