Aam Aadmi Party MLA Surender Singh was arrested on Friday for allegedly making casteist remarks against an NDMC employee, drawing sharp reaction from the party which accused the Delhi Police of doing the Centre’s bidding.
Singh, a former NSG commando, is the party’s third MLA to be arrested in the last two months.
In more trouble for the AAP, sources said senior leader Kumar Vishwas may soon be called in for questioning in connection with a molestation case filed by a former party volunteer.
Singh, MLA from Delhi Cantonment, was arrested in the evening along with his driver Praveen and assistant Pankaj after being called in for questioning at the Parliament Road police station.
The trio was booked on August 5 for allegedly making casteist remarks against New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) sanitary inspector Ram Jeevan Meena, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste.
They were accused of obstructing him and his colleagues from discharging their duty during an anti-encroachment check near Race Course Road. In his complaint, Meena also accused Singh and his driver of punching NDMC worker Mukesh Kumar.
A city court had on August 12 denied anticipatory bail to Singh, who said the complaint was a “ploy to tarnish” his image. The MLA said he was trying to save a poor vegetable vendor from being threatened by NDMC employees.
“Singh and his aides were arrested after a medical examination at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Friday evening,” a senior police officer said. Security was enhanced at the Parliament Road police station fearing protests by the AAP.
Singh’s close aide Sanjay Kumar accused the police of “manhandling” the legislator. “At around 8pm, we were told that Singh, his driver Praveen and assistant Pankaj have been arrested. They were taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for a medical examination. The police manhandled and abused him,” Kumar said.
The party, too, threw its weight behind the legislator with senior leader Ashutosh lashing out at the Centre. “Modi govt protects corrupts of CNG Fitness scam and arrests patriot commando Surender who faced bullets of terrorists during 26/11 attack (sic),” he wrote on Twitter, referring to a scam in which several officials of the Sheila Dikshit government have been accused of irregularities.
Singh is the third AAP MLA to be arrested in the last two months. Tri Nagar MLA Jitender Singh Tomar had to resign as Delhi’s law minister after being accused of procuring fake degrees. He was arrested in June. Singh too has been accused by the BJP of faking his degree from Sikkim University. Kondli legislator Manoj Kumar was arrested in July on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy.
According to police records, 23 AAP MLAs have cases registered against them, some of which date back to the late 1990s.
Read: AAP's Surender Singh denied bail, faces arrest for ‘casteist’ remarks
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