AAP MLA and party's Gujarat affairs in-charge Gulab Singh surrendered on Sunday before Surat police and was arrested by Delhi police after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him in connection with an extortion case, PTI reported.
Singh's arrest has come hours ahead of Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal's public rally in Surat. He is the 14th AAP leader to be arrested by Delhi police.
"Delhi police had come with a non-bailable warrant against Gulab Singh. He learnt about it before hand and came to Urma police station where we handed him over to Delhi police," Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma told PTI.
The Delhi police will take Yadav to a court to secure a transit remand.
Surat (Gujarat): Delhi police arrests AAP MLA Gulab Singh after a Non-bailable warrant was issued against him in an alleged extortion case
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 16, 2016
Before leaving for Umra police station to surrender, Yadav told reporters at the circuit house, "I have learnt that Delhi police have come to Surat to arrest me. So I am going to Umra police station to court arrest and ask Delhi police to pick me from there."
"I am in Gujarat since 6 September and I was here when the FIR was filed on 13 September. Police raided my office and got nothing incriminating. The Centre is directing arrest of AAP MLAs but we are not going to bow and are ready for any consequences," he alleged.
The extortion case
In September, two property dealers, Deepak Sharma and Rinku Diwan, had alleged that Satish and Devinder, who work in Yadav's office, and an associate Jagdish, were extorting money from them by threatening to demolish the building from where they were operating.
A case under Section 384 (punishment for extortion) IPC was registered at Bindapur police station on 13 September.
Confirming the MLA's arrest, Joint Commissioner of Police, South West Delhi, Deependra Pathak said, "He will be brought back to Delhi on Sunday to join the probe in the FIR of extortion in which he has also been named."
The non-bailable warrant was issued against Singh, who is MLA from Delhi's Matiala, on 14 October for allegedly not joining probe in the case. Singh's alleged associates Satish, Devinder and Jagdish were also arrested and a probe was taken up in the matter which revealed that the "organised extortion racket" had been operating with the knowledge of the MLA, police claimed.
Following the investigation, Singh was named in the FIR and issued notices to join the investigation but he did not turn up for questioning, the police said.
Kejriwal hits out at BJP
Meanwhile, Kejriwal, who is on a four-day visit to Gujarat, alleged while talking to reporters in Vadodara before leaving for Surat that BJP president Amit Shah was trying to affect the rally.
"I have learnt that Amit Shah is trying various methods to scuttle the rally," he told the media, IANS reported. "He is sending his people to different places (where I go) to stage protests," Kejriwal added.
"I appeal to Amit Shah that Sunday's rally is not my rally. It is a rally of the Gujarat people and I request him not to put any impediments."
The Delhi Chief minister also alleged that 13 AAP MLAs have been arrested by Delhi Police on the direction from the BJP, IANS reported.
Kejriwal, who is due to address an AAP rally in Surat along with party leader Kumar Vishwas said that the arrest of Singh shows that the BJP was scared of AAP.
Delhi minister Kapil Mishra, who is attending the AAP rally in Surat, said Singh's arrest was a turning point in Gujarat politics. "Gulab singh arrested hours before historical rally in Surat," he tweeted.
"This was done to prevent Gulab Singh from reaching the rally. The politics of Gujrat will change for ever from today," he said in a note posted on Twitter.
With agency inputs