Two Aam Aadmi Party legislators have been arrested in the last 12 hours in the national capital, resulting in fresh confrontations between the Delhi government and the Centre. In all, 11 AAP MLAs have been arrested in Delhi on various charges.
On Sunday, the Punjab police arrested Naresh Yadav and charged him with desecrating the holy Quran in Punjab's Muslim-dominated town of Malerekotla last month. Police sources said that Yadav was arrested from Delhi and was being brought to Punjab where he will be produced in a court on Monday.
"We arrested AAP MLA Naresh Yadav from his house in Delhi. He will be produced in a Malerkotla court on Monday," Punjab Police, IG (Patiala Zone), Paramraj Singh Umra Nangal, said.
Yadav was arrested after Vijay Kumar, one of the original arrested accused in the desecration case, claimed that he had done it at the behest of the AAP MLA.
Yadav has been charged with sections 109 (punishment for abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295 (injury or defiling place of worship with an intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code.
Before his arrest, Yadav had described the police action against him as a conspiracy. "When I had told the police that I was available for questioning any time, then why I am being arrested," he asked adding that the police procured the arrest warrant on the accusations of an "RSS man".
The arrests have prompted the Aam Aadmi Party leadership to call it political vendetta, as it came just hours after the Delhi police arrested Aamanatullah Khan, another AAP legislator from Okhla. A woman had alleged that she was being harassed by a youth at the legislator's residence in southeast Delhi's Jamia Nagar area. A court remanded him to a one-day police custody.
"We have arrested the legislator on Sunday morning as the complainant again informed the police that he was threatening her and also trying to manipulate the evidence," additional deputy commissioner of police (South East) Rajeev Ranjan told IANS.
A 35-year-old woman had filed the complaint against Khan on 20 July for allegedly threatening her with dire consequences.
A case was registered against the legislator under sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC at the Jamia Nagar police station in south Delhi, Ranjan said.
The alleged incident took place on 10 July, when the complainant went to the residence of the AAP MLA in South Delhi's Batla House locality after a telephonic conversation with him to complain about poor electricity supply in the area.
The complainant claimed the minister did not meet her and while she was returning, the youth came out of the house, abused her and threatened her that she would die if she did not stop politicising the matter.
The complainant alleged that she was abused on "Khan's orders."
Refuting the charges, Khan on Saturday filed a counter-case and claimed that he was not even in Delhi when he is supposed to have threatened the woman.
The AAP also released a secretly shot video of the woman on Saturday where she is heard saying she was told by the SHO to throw the rape charge at the legislator and said the complainant was acting under police pressure.
Watch how SHO forced complainant to put rape allegations against AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan.https://t.co/s8OKp1UdJv
— AAP Delhi Official (@aapdelhincr) July 23, 2016
According to a report by The Indian Express, the party claimed that the complainant was ‘pressurised’ to record a false statement.
With Inputs from Agencies