Punjab police have summoned Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Delhi MLA Naresh Yadav to join the investigation in connection with the Quran sacrilege case at Malerkotla on July 5.
Yadav has been booked under various sections on the Indian Penal Code, including for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
“He has been asked to appear on July 5 at 11 am at the CIA office in Sangrur, which is handling the case,” said senior superintendent of police Prithpal Singh Thind.
Yadav was named by the main accused Vijay Kumar, a Delhi-based businessman, who reportedly told police that he met the Delhi MLA on the morning of June 24, the day he left for Punjab to commit the crime.
Controversy over the desecration of the Quran erupted after the prayers on the third Friday of the holy month of Ramzan as news spread that torn pages of the holy book were found in a drain in front of a cemetery on Khanna Road.
Punjab Muslim Front chairperson Shehzaad Hussain claimed more than 1,000 pages of two new copies of the holy book were found torn. The pages were later buried in the cemetery.
An enraged mob set some vehicles on fire and damaged property, and several people, including a few police officers, were injured in the violence.
Yadav, who represents Mehrauli (South) in the Delhi assembly and in-charge of AAP affairs in Punjab, was named a co-conspirator by the main accused on Saturday, a day before Delhi chief minister and party chief Arvind Kejriwal began his three-day tour of Punjab.
The MLA, however, has denied the charges, saying it was a conspiracy to malign the party’s image ahead of the assembly polls. He said the police had cooked up the story to defame the AAP, and remained incommunicado when the police issued the summons.