Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti had ink hurled at him on Monday in Rae Bareli, just minutes before he was arrested for allegedly making objectionable comments.
“Ink was thrown on the AAP MLA, and the matter is being probed,” Superintendent of Police (of Rae Bareli) Shlok Kumar said.
Bharti was arrested for criminal intimidation and promoting enmity between groups, police said. He has been remanded to 14 days in judicial custody at Amhat jail in Sultanpur district. His bail plea will be heard Wednesday, a government counsel said.
Last week, Bharti stoked controversy by criticising Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. According to reports, the AAP MLA had used a derogatory term for Adityanath, while talking about "atrocities on women" in the state.
According to a purported video link, the AAP MLA also criticised the state-run hospitals and said, "Children are being born in hospitals, but they are of dogs."
Amethi police arrested Bharti, a former Delhi minister, on the basis of a complaint filed by BJP worker Somnath Sahu over the alleged remarks made last week. The arrest took place less than an hour after the ink-throwing incident.
Reacting to the attack, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at Adityanath. "Yogiji, our MLA Somnath Bharti ji was going to visit your government schools and ink was thrown at him. Are your schools so bad? If someone goes to see your school then why do you get so scared? Fix your schools. If you do not know how to do, then ask Manish Sisodia," he tweeted.
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Meanwhile, reacting to the arrest, Shalabh Mani Tripathi, information advisor to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said, "Everybody has a right to contest polls and level allegations against each other in a democracy. But it is wrong to use indecent language while referring to a chief minister. You (Bharti) threatened a policeman while he was discharging his duty.”
"Arvind Kejriwal is himself a chief minister. If he has the slightest idea about what it means to hold the post of a chief minister, then he should tender an apology to the entire country for the statement made by Bharti,” Tripathi said.
A case was registered against Bharti under section 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) and section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code, Additional Superintendent of Police Daya Ram said.
(With PTI inputs)