AAP MLA named in Punjab Quran ‘desecration’ case, to be questioned
Punjab Police will question Delhi’s AAP lawmaker Naresh Yadav in a case of alleged desecration of the Quran that led to arson in the state’s Muslim-majority town of Malerkotla on June 24.india Updated: Jul 03, 2016 13:41 IST
Punjab Police will question Delhi’s AAP lawmaker Naresh Yadav in a case of alleged desecration of the Quran that led to arson in the state’s Muslim-majority town of Malerkotla on June 24.
Yadav, who represents Mehrauli (South) in the Delhi assembly, was named as the conspirator by the main accused, Vijay Kumar, a Delhi-based businessman, on Saturday, a day before Delhi chief minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal was to begin a three-day tour of Punjab.
“We will summon AAP MLA Naresh Yadav to question him regarding Malerkotla incident,” Sangrur SSP Prithpal Singh Thind said.
Yadav, who has been booked on charges of promoting enmity between two communities, has denied the accusation, saying it was a conspiracy to malign the party’s image ahead of the assembly polls.
Punjab goes to the polls next year and AAP is set to make its electoral debut in the border state, positioning itself as the third alternative to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine and the opposition Congress.
Yadav would be brought face to face with Kumar, Thind said. Police also claim to have call records that “placed” the two men together.
Kumar told mediapersons he tore some pages of the Quran at the behest of Yadav, who is co-incharge of AAP’s Punjab affairs.
“Yadav lured me into his criminal design to disturb Punjab’s communal harmony to help AAP win the state in 2017,” Kumar told the media at a Patiala hospital where he was brought for a check-up.
Kumar claimed Yadav offered him “big money” and he reached Malerkotla after meeting the MLA in the Capital on the morning of June 24. His bio-fertiliser business had collapsed and he was in dire need of money.
Kumar said he knew Yadav for 15 years but denied he was associated with AAP. He was arrested with the father-son duo of Nand Kishore Goldy and Gaurav three days after the alleged desecration. Goldy is a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Yadav has denied the charges, saying he knew many Vijays and didn’t recall the “one police are talking about”. “And as far as call details are concerned, I’m in public life and everyday many people call me. It doesn’t mean that I know each one of them.”
He had come to know of the charges from the media and was open to investigation, said the AAP leader, latest among the string of party lawmakers to fall foul of the law after the outfit swept to power in Delhi in 2014.
A mob set some vehicles on fire and damaged property of the local MLA after some pages of the Quran were found torn outside a cemetery in Malerkotla. Some policemen were among those injured in a clash with the mob.