Massive Political Uproar in Delhi After Punjab Police Arrest BJP Youth Wing Secretary
18:42 GMT 06.05.2022 (Updated: 11:42 GMT 10.12.2022)
© Photo : ANI Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga
© Photo : ANI
In March, the BJP’s youth national secretary slammed Delhi state chief for claiming that a Bollywood movie based on the story of the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the valley in the 1990s was a lie.
A political drama unfolded in New Delhi on Friday after Punjab police arrested Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing secretary Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga. Bagga is being accused of making provocative statements, spreading rumours, and creating religious and communal enmity by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) politician Sunny Singh.
The arrest follows accusations made by Singh last month in Punjab City. Bagga has also been accused of threatening Delhi State Chief Arvind Kejriwal during a protest on 30 March.
Singh had submitted statements and video clips evidence to the police.
The BJP youth was arrested in his home by Punjab police on Friday in the Janakpuri area of Delhi.
While the police say that Bagga's detention came after filing five notices for him to submit testimony, his father Pritpal Singh Bagga claimed they simply barged into his house and dragged the youth out. The father also alleged that police mistreated his family.
After Bagga was arrested, his father filed a complaint with the Delhi police, claiming that "a group of men" abducted his son. He also fears for his life.
Following his father’s actions, Bagga was transfered to Haryana police custody, and later to the Delhi police, stoking frictions. Attorney General Anmol Rattan Sidhu, appearing on behalf of Punjab police, told courtmembers that Haryana police have made a mockery of law. "How can they hand over someone from one custody to the other?" he argued.
The Punjab government also unsuccessfully urged the High Court to prevent Delhi police from taking Bagga into the Haryana district.
BJP Slams Kejriwal for 'Blatant Misuse of Power'
Soon after Bagga was arrested, the BJP slammed Delhi State Chief Arvind Kejriwal for “misusing the Punjab police”, while BJP Delhi Chief Adesh Gupta called him a dictator who is pursuing a vendetta.
Addressing a press conference, Gupta said Bagga had been picked up for “unmasking" lies in the local government: “The Delhi state chief had claimed that his party will get back at those targeting it once it gets control over police. It is said that if you want to see someone’s real face, give that person power. The real character and face of Kejriwal has now come to the fore."
For his part, BJP politician Manjinder Singh Sirsa claimed that Bagga had been arrested for his religious belief, and that a Sikh has been “insulted". “Kejriwal is taking Punjab back to the politics of the 1980s, which were marred by militancy,” he said, adding that the BJP stands with Bagga.
Condemning Bagga’s arrest, BJP youth wing’s national president Tejasvi Surya said that the party’s youth "will fight in court and on the streets against the fascist AAP… [the] party’s youth wing will do everything in its capacity to bring Bagga back to safety and liberty. We will fight back.” He even warned Kejriwal that he has messed with the “wrong guys”. The BJP has staged a protest outside the Janakpuri police station in Delhi.
AAP Supports Bagga’s Arrest
Meanwhile, the AAP backed Bagga’s arrest. Its chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the Punjab police registered the case against Bagga last month after the BJP politician "tried to create communal tension and incite violence in the state” through his social media accounts.
"Because of such statements, the Punjab police lodged an FIR and arrested Bagga. His statements were communal in nature. A lot of BJP-linked people were instigating the violence in Patiala," Bhardwaj alleged. He also refused the allegations of vendetta.
AAP lawmaker Atishi added that "Punjab police followed all legal process and issued an arrest warrant before arresting Bagga. Following all due procedure, police filed a case and summoned Bagga to join the investigation five times but he did not respond or replied. But crossing all limits, the BJP and Amit Shah's Delhi police held the Punjab police hostage to save a 'Gunda' (goon) who tried to incite violence."
Tussle Between Bagga and Kejriwal
The political tussle between Bagga and Kejriwal started in March this year when Kejriwal claimed that the 'The Kashmir Files', a movie based on the real story of Kashmiri Hindus' exodus from the valley in the 1990s, was a lie and refused to declare it tax-free.
"They (BJP) are demanding the movie be declared tax-free in Delhi. Upload it on YouTube, the movie will become free and everyone will be able to watch it. Some people are earning crores (millions of rupees) in the name of Kashmiri Pandits and you have been sticking posters of the film”, he said.
Following his comments, the BJP accused him of "mocking" the pain of Kashmiri Pandits and branding the movie a lie.