Delhi Police — in the face of severe criticism by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its ‘eagerness’ to arrest party MLA Dinesh Mohaniya — said the AAP legislator had failed to respond to two summon notices.
The police said they were forced to take such an action as Mohaniya had refused to join the probe.
Joint commissioner of police, southeast, RP Upadhyay claimed that if a person ignored summons to join the probe in cases of “serious offence”, the police were empowered to take such an action.
Mohaniya was picked up while he was addressing a press conference at his office in Khanpur in south Delhi. According to the AAP, he was scheduled to go to the police station after addressing the media at noon.
“We had served a notice to Dinesh Mohaniya based on a complaint that was filed by a group of women on Wednesday night, who alleged that the MLA had abused and manhandled them when they approached him with a complaint on water crisis in their locality. We immediately registered a case in the matter and asked him to join the investigation on Thursday, which he ignored. We again summoned him on Friday and sent notices, but he again chose not to respond,” Upadhyay said.
He added: “As the law enforcement agency, we are bound to arrest a person who is not cooperating with us.”
Mohaniya was taken to Neb Sarai police station where he was questioned for over three hours. “We arrested him after questioning him on the sequence of events of that day. We also accessed some video recordings that have been sent for examination. He has been sent to two days judicial custody,” a senior police officer said.
Mohaniya, who is also the vice-chairman of Delhi Jal Board, was booked on June 23 after locals of Sangam Vihar alleged that the MLA and his supporters had roughed them up and misbehaved with women in his office when they went to complain about irregular water supply. Another case was registered against Mohaniya on Friday for allegedly slapping a 60-year-old man in Tughlaqabad area.
Upadhyay said that since the allegations against Mohaniya were grave, police had to take strict action. “The women alleged that Mohaniya assaulted and abused them physically, following which a case was registered under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 A (sexual harassment), 354 B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe) and 354 C (voyeurism). A case with such serious sections needs to be death with strictly. Hence, we decided to arrest him,” he said.