AAP MLA Naresh Yadav booked in Quran desecration case in Punjab

Aam Aadmi Party's MLA from Delhi, Naresh Yadav, was booked on Saturday in connection with a case of alleged Quran ‘desecration' in Punjab, reported The Indian Express.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Yadav was booked after Vijay Kumar, the alleged mastermind in the case, told the police that he had “desecrated” the Quran at the behest of Yadav, and was offered Rs 1 crore, the report added.

"Vijay Kumar has claimed that in Malerkotla, he was offered Rs 1 crore for tearing pages of Quran and throwing them near a drain on Khanna Road. Their plan was also to desecrate a Hindu holy book next," the report quoted Sangrur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Pritpal Singh Thind as saying.

According to the police, Kumar wanted to avenge Dinanagar and Pathankot terrorist, The Indian Express report said. Kumar also told the investigators he hated Pakistan and Muslims.

"We will summon AAP MLA Naresh Yadav in order to question him regarding Malerkotla incident," Sangrur SSP Prithpal Singh Thind said.

"During our investigation and questioning of accused, it was revealed that accused had met him (AAP MLA). Calls were also exchanged between the accused and AAP MLA," claimed Thind.

Asked whether police suspected Mehrauli MLA as the mastermind behind the sacrilege incident, SSP said it will be known after questioning Yadav.

The Sangrur police had arrested three men – Vijay Kumar, Nand Kishor Goldy and Gaurav - on 27 June in connection with the Malerkotla case.

Delhi-based Kumar, an accused in the case, had yesterday claimed in Patiala that he "did at the behest" of Yadav.

Kumar was yesterday taken to Rajindra Medical college and hospital by police for check-up.

Violence had erupted after the alleged sacrilege incident which had taken place in Malerkotla on 24 June in which a mob had even attacked the house of local Akali Dal MLA Farzana Nissara Khatoon, wife of former Punjab DGP.

Several policemen including a DSP were injured as about 300-400 protesters had indulged in stone pelting and torched a car.

"This is false charge. When everyone across the country -- Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians-- are supporting us and when we are winning elections, why will I do it? I have no involvement in the case. If there is any proof then hang me. This is a conspiracy and I have nothing to do with the matter. The whole country knows that only one party can do this," Yadav said, hitting out at the BJP.

Yadav has been booked under Sections 109 (Punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment) and 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of IPC.

AAP lashed out at the ruling SAD-BJP alliance over the issue. Its leader Ashutosh said it reflects BJP's
desperation as his party is "sweeping" the polls scheduled to be held early next year.

"Now ruling Akalis do not have any issue with them for contesting polls and they know that they are losing their ground. Therefore they have resorted to these things which are highly condemnable. It is a political conspiracy to defame AAP ahead of elections. We knew that ruling party will indulge in such cheap moves," AAP's Punjab Convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur said.

The development comes just three days ahead of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Punjab visit to launch AAP's election campaign.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 03, 2016 12:47:05 IST

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