Friday, Jul 01, 2022

Delhi Police To Provide Security To Tajinder Bagga After He Expressed 'Apprehension Over His Safety'

The Delhi Police had on Friday registered a case of kidnapping based on a complaint by Bagga's father Pritpal Singh Bagga that 'some people' came over to his house at around 8 am and took away his son.

The Punjab Police booked Tajinder Bagga.
The Punjab Police booked Tajinder Bagga. PTI

In the wake of BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga expressing fear about his safety, the Delhi Police on Saturday said it will make necessary security arrangements for him. 

On Friday, the Punjab Police arrested Bagga from his residence in Delhi's Janakpuri, but the city police here brought him back to the capital from Haryana, saying its Punjab counterpart did not inform it about the arrest. Following the arrest of Bagga, the Delhi Police registered a case of kidnapping against Punjab Police personnel late on Friday night. They claimed that the Punjab Police team did not inform the local police before arresting Tajinder Bagga from his residence in Delhi's Janakpuri.

"Bagga expressed apprehension over his safety and security. We will do necessary security arrangements," a senior officer said.

The Delhi Police had on Friday registered a case of kidnapping based on a complaint by Bagga's father Pritpal Singh Bagga that "some people" came over to his house at around 8 am and took away his son.

Bagga, also the national secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, was held in connection with a case registered against him in Mohali last month. He was produced before a magistrate late on Friday, according to the Delhi Police officials.

Pritpal Bagga told PTI that his son, accompanied by his friends and supporters, returned home around 1 am.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Ghanshyam Bansal said they received information from Pritpal Bagga that his son Tajinder Bagga had been abducted around 8.30 am from his house by some unknown persons.

There were other allegations as well in his complaint, the police said.

The case was registered under sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrong­ful restraint), 392 (robbery), 342 (wrongful confinement), 365 (kidnapping), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), according to a Delhi Police statement.

Thereafter, a wireless message was flashed and the said vehicle was intercepted in Kurukshetra by the Haryana Police, the DCP said.

A search warrant was obtained from a Dwarka court based on which the assistance of Kurukshetra district police was taken to trace and recover the abducted victim, Bansal said.

He was being brought to Delhi for production before a magistrate, the DCP said.

Tajinder Bagga was produced before a magistrate late at night, the police said.

Pritpal Bagga told reporters he was happy that his son had come back home.

"My son was produced before a magistrate in Gurugram and released by police. Later, he reached home accompanied by his friends and supporters," Pritpal Bagga said.

In his complaint, the BJP leader's father said, "I was present at my home along with my son on Friday. Around 8.30 am, someone knocked the door repeatedly. When I opened it, some persons entered my home and manhandled me. Some of them had weapons."

"They started asking me where is Tajinder Singh Bagga. When I asked them what they wanted from Tajinder, they slapped me. Later, my son came there and they started beating him. When I tried to intervene, they pushed me," the FIR stated.

"When I took out my phone to record their video, they beat me up and snatched the mobile. Later, they forcefully took away my son who was not allowed to wear a turban and was dragged out of the house," it stated.

Pritpal Bagga was accompanied by Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta when he went to file the FIR.

The Punjab Police team was stopped in Kurukshetra's Pipli, with a Haryana Police official saying they had received information that Bagga was "forcibly" picked up from his residence.

A team of Delhi Police personnel, including senior officials, went to Kurukshetra, took Bagga's custody and left for the national capital, a Kurukshetra police official said.

Pipli Sadar police station SHO Malkiat Singh said, "The Delhi Police took him (Tajinder Bagga) with them in view of an FIR registered in Delhi about his kidnapping."

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP workers staged a protest outside Janakpuri police station and raised slogans against the Punjab Police. 

Who is Bagga?

In the winter of 2020, BJP surprised everyone with its midnight announcement of fielding Bagga as its candidate for Hari Nagar Assembly seat during Delhi elections.

Years back in 2011, before the announcement, a Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan was physically assaulted on live television by a group led by Bagga.

Since then, Bagga has gained massive popularity online for his notorious trolling of people on Twitter.

The 36-year-old  Bagga started his political career by founding an ultra-nationalist fringe outfit called Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena.

It was in 2011 that the outfit gained prominence, after Bagga physically assaulted lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his remarks on Kashmir, and writer Arundhati Roy. The outfit Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena attacked anybody which it deemed “anti-national”.

However, it was Bagga’s tech savvy approach to political mobilisation that helped him rise through the BJP’s ranks. Bagga used social media, especially Twitter, for galvanising mass support for the party and its leaders, for which he has even been accused ok several occasions of using fake news and doctored video clips.

He also lead a troll campaign against Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone on Twitter, after the latter was found standing behind JNU student leaders in 2019.

It was in 2017 that Bagga was named as Delhi BJP’s spokesperson. 

Bagga's expansive list of Twitter followers includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a fact that also added to his fame. 

Bagga has been often accused of sharing images out of context or in ways that distort the meaning of an image or video. He has been under fire several times for making defamatory statements or false claims such as when Bagga led a campaign against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal by sharing a stickfigure cartoon of the latter as a Nazi.

Bagga maligned Kejriwal while saying that he was against the Hindu "swastika”.

During anti-CAA protests, Bagga claimed Umar Khalid had raised anti-Hindu slogans in Mumbai. Similar claims were made by him regarding peaceful women protesters in Shaheen Bagh.

There have been several fact-checks conducted by news organisations which found both above claims to be untrue. 

Bagga is also the editor of NaMo Patrika – an online portal started by the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena to highlight schemes and initiatives launched by the Modi government.

His proximity to RSS leaders and several BJP leaders has also lead to his meteoric rise in BJP.

Last month, the Punjab Police booked Tajinder Bagga on the charges of making provocative statements, promoting enmity and criminal intimidation. The case was registered on a complaint of AAP leader Sunny Ahluwalia, a resident of Mohali.

The FIR registered on April 1 referred to Tajinder Bagga's remarks on March 30, when he was part of a BJP youth wing protest outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 

(with inputs from PTI)