Controversial BJP legislator Sangeet Som was on Wednesday charged with instigating communal hatred in his constituency in Uttar Pradesh after his supporters screened a documentary that allegedly polarised voters.
On Tuesday night, police seized a pen drive and a vehicle from his supporter, Shekhar, and a driver in Alamgir Faridpur village. Police charged them under section 188 of the IPC and booked Som under the People’s Representation Act.
They were accused of screening the documentary glorifying Som in his constituency, Sardhana, without seeking the nod of the Election Commission.
The documentary purportedly showed Som’s role in the Bisada and Kanth incidents, and his arrest from Salawa village after the Muzaffarnagar riots, thereby projecting him as the saviour of the Hindus.
The BJP MLA was booked under the National Security Act in connection with Muzaffarnagar riots and had visited Bisada village of Dadri after a mob lynched a Muslim man on suspicion of consuming beef in September 2015.
He also participated in the party’s movement in Kanth in Moradabad where two communities came face to face over the removal of a loudspeaker from a temple during Ramzan.
Villagers, who informed police about the documentary, claimed it was screened “deliberately” to instigate communal passions.
A team of officials examined the contents of the 20-minute documentary and found it unfit for screening.
SP (rural) Shravan Kumar Singh said Som’s aide had taken permission for an election campaign, but did not seek required certification for the content of the documentary.
The model code of conduct is in place in Uttar Pradesh, which goes to polls in seven phases --- from February 11 to March 8.