After booking an AAP MLA from Delhi, Naresh Yadav, in the Malerkotla Quran desecration case, Punjab Police has registered a case against another AAP leader, Ashish Khetan, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
According to the FIR, Khetan is accused of hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs as he reportedly compared the AAP’s youth manifesto, released for the 2017 Punjab assembly polls, to the Guru Granth Sahib.
Khetan, who is a party spokesperson, was named as an accused under Section 295-A of the IPC in an FIR registered at Amritsar’s Civil Lines police station Tuesday night.
The complaint against Khetan was lodged by Karnail Singh, a resident of the Peer Mohammad village who is also a leader of the All India Sikh Students Federation (Peer Mohammad). Khetan held a press conference in Khanna on Tuesday where he apologised for his “mistake”.
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Speaking to The Indian Express, Karnail Singh said, “In my complaint, I have mentioned that Ashish Khetan has disrespected the Guru Granth Sahib, Gita and Bible by comparing these religious texts with the AAP’s manifesto released in Amritsar on July 3. Also, AAP has published a picture of Golden Temple on the cover of its manifesto, with its election symbol, the broom, on it. This is a serious crime for which they need to be punished as per law. I have sought legal action against Ashish Khetan and all the others responsible.”
Inspector Sanjeev Kumar, SHO, Civil Lines police station said, “We have registered a case and investigations are going on. We shall examine the video footage of the event where the alleged offence was committed. We are also collecting other evidence and shall be calling the accused for questioning. Further details cannot be divulged as the case is under investigation.”
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal had termed Khetan’s action as an act of blasphemy.
BJP chief Vijay Sampla had also demanded an apology from AAP for using a picture of their party symbol alongside a picture of the Golden Temple on the cover of their manifesto.
The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee too condemned the act.
Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal had released the party’s first manifesto in Amritsar on July 3.
The release of the manifesto, however, was overshadowed by the controversy and the alleged involvement of AAP MLA Naresh Yadav in the Malerkotla case. Punjab Police booked Yadav the same evening, just as Kejriwal arrived in Amritsar to begin his three-day tour of Punjab. Yadav was questioned by the Punjab Police for six hours on Tuesday.