Ahead of Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Malerkotla on Monday evening, the Sangrur district administration clamped Section 144 of the CrPC, prohibiting assembling of more than 10 people, in wake of the protests launched by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress over alleged involvement of AAP MLA Naresh Yadav in the June 24 Quran sacrilege incident that had led to violence.
Meanwhile, Yadav met Punjab director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora at Chandigarh and appealed to him for a fair probe. He has denied the allegations and alleged political vendetta by the SAD.
Kejriwal, who was earlier in the day at Phagwara in Kapurthala district, faced stiff protests from various Muslim bodies near Konica Resorts over the Mehrauli MLA’s alleged involvement. The police have, meanwhile, deployed heavy police force to tackle any untoward incident.
Sangrur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Preetpal Singh Thind told ANI, “Summons were issued to the MLA, who will be questioned tomorrow (Tuesday). We are investigating the matter and when we have concrete proof, we will seek a warrant from the court to arrest him.”
The SSP further said, “He (Yadav) told us that he would come to Patiala by 11am on Tuesday for questioning. His brother has received the summons. We told Yadav about the allegations levelled against him, let’s see what he says.” Vijay Kumar, one of the accused in the case, had named the AAP MLA following which the latter was booked.
About Kejriwal’s visit to Malerkotla, the SSP said, “We will provide full security to him.” Asked if they tried to stop the AAP convener from visiting the strife-torn town, he denied it.
The Sangrur police booked Yadav after the alleged mastermind in the case, Vijay, said he had desecrated the Quran at the behest of the Mehrauli MLA. “I have become part of a political conspiracy. AAP MLA Naresh Yadav bribed me to carry out this work for political mileage in the upcoming Punjab assembly elections. He asked me to do this and said he will make me rich. I fell in the trap and did this mistake,” alleged Vijay. “Another person was also involved in this with me. He said Malerkotla was the only sensitive place in Punjab so he asked me to carry on this deed there,” he added. The police arrested Vijay Kumar, Nand Kishore and his son Gaurav in this regard.
There was arson in Malerkotla on the night of June 24 after pages of the Quran were found dumped near a drain on the Khanna road. A mob attacked and set Akali Dal MLA Farzana Alam’s home on fire leading to communal tension. The mob also exchanged gunfire with the police, leaving several injured.
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