Bharatiya Janata Party legislator OP Sharma, who was recently caught on camera thrashing a CPI activist at Delhi’s Patiala House court, was briefly arrested on Thursday after he received summons by the police to join a probe into the matter.
“In the country, people who stop others from screaming ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, if they have to go through this, it is shameful,” Sharma said after being granted bail shortly after his arrest. “The investigation started at 11 am. Questioning went on for eight hours by policemen,” he added.
The arrest comes amid the raging row over the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested on February 12 on charges of sedition for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at an event organised at the varsity campus on February 9 against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
The police had on Wednesday issued summons to Sharma and three lawyers in connection with the assault on journalists and students and teachers of the JNU at the court complex. The police have been under attack for not taking action against those involved in the assault at the court complex on Monday and Wednesday.
Sharma was not named in the two FIRs registered by Delhi Police in connection with the attack on JNU students and journalists outside the courts complex.
The police had on Tuesday registered two FIRs against unknown people even though television visuals showed Sharma and his supporters thrashing CPI activist Ameeque Jamai outside the court premises.
The BJP MLA claimed to be a victim alleging he suffered a head injury in the attack and hit out in self-defence.
“Main bachpan se yahi karta aa raha hoon, mujhe mara gaya toh khali nahi baitha gaya, teen char hath maine bhi maar diye (I have been doing this since I was a child, when I was hit, I hit back in self-defence),” Sharma responded after TV channels showed him assaulting Jamai and others.
Sharma, an MLA from east Delhi’s Vishwas Nagar, is one of the three BJP legislators in the Delhi assembly. He is under suspension and barred from attending assembly proceedings after he called AAP legislator Alka Lamba a “bazaaru aurat” (immoral woman).
Sharma is not apologetic for Monday’s incident.
“When I came out (of the court) some people were shouting anti-India slogans. I tried to stop them and they attacked me. In defence, I also hit them,” Sharma said.