Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi legislator Naresh Yadav was interrogated for five hours at the crime investigation agency (CIA) office here on Tuesday about the June 24 burning of Quran and resultant violence in Muslim-dominated Malerkotla.
Sangrur superintendent of police (SP) Pritpal Singh Thind told the media, later, that Yadav had not answered a few questions and he could be called again. “He accepted that he had met main accused Vijay Kumar on the day of the desecration and talked with him on mobile phone,” said the officer. Sources said the MLA was questioned in the presence of all three accused, including Vijay (who had named him).
Thind said the accused would take a polygraph test on Thursday (July 7) and “if required, we’ll ask court to let us put the lie detector on Yadav as well”. Reacting to the AAP’s alleging political conspiracy in the case, Thind said: “We have no political motive. The investigation is fair.” Patiala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurmeet Singh Chauhan, who is with Thind on a special investigation team (SIT), was present.
ANSWERED ALL QUESTIONS: YADAV
Contradicting police, Yadav told the media after the 11amto-4pm interrogation that he had answered all the questions “with honesty” and was ready to appear again. He denied accepting that he had any talk with the main accused on the day of the incident.
“I don’t want to comment much on a matter under investigation but I have been targeted,” he said. AAP Punjab affairs incharge Sanjay Singh said the ruling Shiromain Akali DAl (SAD) was “stooping to a new low every day”. “The AAP’s rising popularity in Punjab and Goa has unnerved these governments. Even in the Bargari incident (or sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Faridkot district last October), the Akalis farmed two innocent men, as they are doing now to Yadav,” said Sanjay.
“Delhi businessman and main accused Vijay Kumar has an RSS-VHP (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and Vishva Hindu Parishad, both Hindu radical organisations) past; and while the RSS is the ruling BJP’s parent organisation, VHP is an affiliate,” Sanjay added.
Earlier in the day, the AAP and Akali-BJP workers staged protest against each other as Yadav reached the CIA office with Sanjay Singh. Both sides raised slogans and tried to run through barricades.
More than 150 police personals had secured the area around the CIA office and got the shops closed.
Muslim leaders have condemned the desecration of their holy book. “In the holy month of Ramzan, the Muslim sentiments are hurt. The AAP MLA’s hand in the case exposed the other face of Arvind Kejriwal. We demand that Yadav be punished for the crime,” said Wakf board member Manju Qurashi.
AAP’s zonal in-charge for Hoshiarpur Jarnail Singh said the popularity of the AAP had created worries for the Badal government “and so it is targeting our leaders”.