Arrested AAP MLA Naresh Yadav was Monday sent to two-day police custody in the Quran desecration case after police stated that they wanted to interrogate him further. Yadav was produced in the court of Malerkotla Additional Civil Judge Preeti Sukheja amid tight security.
Due to heavy security deployment in the area, only a few AAP volunteers managed to reach near the court. Yadav was arrested Sunday evening from Mehrauli by a Punjab Police team. Three others were arrested in the case earlier.
On Monday, AAP’s state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur and its Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann announced the party’s decision to organise dharnas outside DC offices across the state Tuesday. The dharna against Yadav’s arrest, they added, would continue for 3 hours.
Later in the afternoon, DIG Balkar Singh Sidhu said, “We had interrogated Yadav twice, but he kept on hiding facts about his role in the crime. However, he accepted his intimacy with (key accused) Vijay Kumar over the past 16 years. According to the call details, Naresh Yadav was totally in touch with Vijay Kumar on the day of the crime.
He had met him at his Delhi house before leaving for Malerkotla. Moreover, he had exchanged 13 phone calls with Vijay Kumar within a one month time period of the crime; and even Vijay Kumar has confessed before the court that he had personally met him a number of times.”
AAP’s legal cell in-charge, Himmat Singh Shergill, said, “After two days, we will apply for bail, and I am sure they we will get bail because the police has no direct evidence against our MLA. There is no audio or video as evidence and there is no financial transaction done. Moreover, Yadav has co-operated with the police so far in the investigation. He had come twice to Punjab for the investigation. There was no requirement for seeking custodial arrest and hence it is a clear case of political vendetta…police is doing this entire exercise on the directions of Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and his family.”
When asked about AAP’s allegations, DIG Sidhu said,”No accused says that he or she has committed a crime. Apart from the phone calls and meetings, we have other proofs as well which we will reveal later as the investigation is still underway.”
Yadav has been booked under various sections of IPC including 109 (punishment for abetment), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295 (injury or defiling place of worship with an intent to insult the religion of any class).
AAP’s state convenor Chhotepur said,”In two police interrogations, the officials got no clues from Yadav, who himself is an advocate. He is an elected representative. So one can easily make out the motive of SAD-BJP combine behind this.”