Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator from west Delhi’s Vikaspuri constituency Mahendra Yadav has been arrested by the Delhi Police in a case of rioting, damaging public property and stopping public servants from performing duties.
Yadav was arrested on Friday afternoon along with his supporter, identified as Rohan Pandit, for allegedly obstructing traffic on main Nihal Vihar-Najafgarh road while protesting against the rape of a 3-year-old girl. One protester was arrested and a juvenile apprehended from the protest site on Thursday itself, the police said.
Minutes after Yadav’s arrest, senior AAP leaders took to Twitter to slam Delhi Police for their action against the MLA. “It is now a crime in Delhi to protest against the rape of a minor when the Police refuses to register an FIR against rape accused (Sic),” tweeted a Delhi government spokesperson.
The police allege that Yadav is responsible for inciting violence among the already angered crowd eventually turning the situation into a full-blown riot.
Senior Delhi police officers blamed the AAP leaders and supporters of allegedly politicising the rape case by spreading rumors that the local police had not been registering any case, even as an FIR in connection with the rape was already registered and the accused was arrested by the Nihal Vihar police. Also, medical attention and counseling was provided to the rape survivor who is currently recuperating at Sanjay Gandhi Memorial hospital.
A senior police officer said that Swati Maliwal, chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), too tried to gain some political mileage by visiting the rape survivor and meeting her family at the hospital on Thursday.
Deependra Pathak, joint commissioner of police (southwestern range), said that even as all necessary actions were taken in the rape case, scores of protesters led by AAP’s Vikaspuri MLA gathered in Nihal Vihar area and began protesting against the Delhi Police.
“Not only did they blocked the traffic, the protesters also damaged some public vehicles and manhandled with the police personnel on duty, preventing them from performing duties. An adult protester and a juvenile were apprehended from the protest spot while the entire protests were videographed by our policemen,” said Pathak.
“A case under sections 147, 148 (rioting), 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of IPC and section 3 of the prevention of damage to public property act, 1984, was registered at the Nihal Vihar police station,” he said . The arrested persons will be produced before a city court and their police remand will be sought.