AAP’s Mehrauli MLA Naresh Yadav acquitted in Quran desecration case; 2 others guilty

Narpal Singh Dhaliwal, the counsel for Yadav, said the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Prashant Verma acquitted Yadav as there was no evidence against him.
AAP MLA Naresh Yadav, along with Punjab’s leader of opposition Harpal Cheema and counsel Narpal Singh Dhaliwal, coming out of the Sangrur court on Tuesday. (HT PHOTO)
AAP MLA Naresh Yadav, along with Punjab’s leader of opposition Harpal Cheema and counsel Narpal Singh Dhaliwal, coming out of the Sangrur court on Tuesday. (HT PHOTO)
Published on Mar 17, 2021 12:53 AM IST
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ByAvtar Singh, Sangrur

A local court on Tuesday acquitted Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s MLA from Mehrauli constituency of Delhi, Naresh Yadav in a Quran sacrilege case which took place in Punjab’s Malerkotla on June 24, 2016. Two others, Vijay Kumar and Gaurav Khajuria were found guilty and sentenced to two years’ rigourous imprisonment with a fine of 11,000.

Besides Yadav, another accused, identified as Nand Kishore, has been acquitted.

Narpal Singh Dhaliwal, the counsel for Yadav, said the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Prashant Verma acquitted Yadav as there was no evidence against him.

Police had registered a case under Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli¬gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli-gious beliefs), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 124A (sedition), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code at Malerkotla City-1 police station. The court, however, dropped the sedition charges in the case.

Vijay Kumar, the main accused in the 2016 incident which had triggered violence in the Muslim-dominated Malerkotla, was a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteer. He had claimed that he had desecrated the Quran at the behest of Yadav, who, he claimed, was his friend.

The Mehrauli MLA was arrested for his suspected role in the case. However, later, Vijay Kumar took a U-turn and alleged that the police had forced him to name Yadav in the case.

Yadav welcomed the verdict, stating that the SAD-BJP government had nominated his name in the FIR as they felt threatened by AAP’s rising popularity ahead of the 2017 Punjab assembly elections.

Walking out of the Sangrur court with Punjab leader of opposition and Dirba legislator Harpal Cheema, Yadav said, “I got justice. The Akali government had conspired against me ahead of the Punjab assembly polls. It was done to defame the AAP,” added Yadav.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021