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HT Correspondent/Agencies, Agencies
Muzaffarnagar, October 17, 2013
BJP legislator Kunwar Bhartendu Singh, accused of inciting communal violence in Muzaffarnagar last month, was apprehended by Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday and sent to 14-day judicial custody. Singh was arrested after a press conference here in which he claimed his innocence and said he was being targeted by political rivals.

The MLA from Bijnor constituency is the third legislator from BJP who has been arrested for the Muzaffarnagar violence.

BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana were arrested earlier.

Singh has been arrested on the charges of violating prohibitory orders and provoking communal tension by making inflammatory speeches during a panchayat meet in Nagla Mandaur village, police said.

The BJP MLA was among the 16 politicians and community leaders against whom non-bailable warrants were issued by a court in Muzaffarnagar in connection with last month's riots.

According to reports, Singh intended to surrender in court and prior to that, addressed a press conference here. He accused the state government of biased action and demanded fair probe into the violence. He also demanded proper compensation to farmers who had suffered losses during violence on the bank of the Ganga canal in Jawli village.

Immediately after the press conference, a heavy force led by SP city Sharvan Kumar and SHO Civil Lines arrested Singh.

He was produced before the additional chief judicial magistrate who sent him to 14-day judicial custody. Senior advocate Chandraveer who appeared as Bhartendu Singh’s counsel, said that the court had rejected Singh’s interim bail application . The next hearing will be on Friday.