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Indian police arrest 14 for clashes in capital

March 6, 2014

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian police said Thursday that they arrested 14 people after supporters of rival political parties clashed in the streets of the capital, wounding dozens of people.

The clashes occurred Wednesday evening, after the Election Commission announced earlier in the day that India’s general election will start April 7.

According to police, members of the upstart Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man’s Party, attacked the main office of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi.

The 14 people who were arrested were accused of rioting and assembling illegally, police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.

Aam Aadmi’s top leader, Arvind Kejriwal, apologized for the violence at the BJP office, but said his party’s workers had been provoked by their rivals.

Police on Thursday were questioning two Aam Aadmi Party leaders, Shazia Ilmi and Aashutosh, in relation to the incident. Aashutosh uses one name.

Similar clashes also occurred Wednesday in Lucknow, the capital of northern Uttar Pradesh state.

The run-up to the election has exposed widespread disgust in India over corruption and disenchantment with the storied Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, which has dominated Indian politics since independence from Britain in 1947.

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