AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya was arrested on charges of molestation Saturday, triggering yet another full-blown war of words between the party and the BJP, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “declaring Emergency” in Delhi.
Mohaniya, who is also the vice-chairman of Delhi Jal Board, was booked Wednesday after some women residents of his constituency, Sangam Vihar, alleged that the MLA and his supporters had misbehaved with them when they had gone to his office to complain about irregular water supply.
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A case was also filed against him Friday for allegedly slapping a 60-year-old man. He was arrested in the middle of a press conference at his office in south Delhi’s Khanpur.
“Mohaniya was addressing a press conference in his office about the alleged conspiracy against him… a team of 20 police personnel, under the supervision of Station House Officer of Neb Sarai police station Vivek Tyagi, approached him and asked him to go with them,” said a senior police officer.
He was taken to the Neb Sarai police station and later produced before Duty Magistrate Anjani Mahajan, who dismissed the MLA’s bail plea and sent him to Tihar till Monday.
Shortly after the arrest, a livid Kejriwal tweeted, “Modi declares emergency in Delhi. Arresting, raiding, terrorising, filing false cases against all those whom Delhi elected”.
He added, “Dinesh Mohaniya arrested from his press conference in front of all TV cameras. What msg does Modi want to give to everyone?”
Defending the manner in which the MLA was arrested, R P Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police (southeastern range) said, “When you are not cooperating with police, there is no option left… that’s why he has been arrested.”
“Since the allegation is grave, he has been arrested under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe) and 354C (voyeurism),” said the JCP.
In a press note, Mohaniya said, “The allegations levelled against me are not only false, but part of a conspiracy. The way police landed up in my house without prior notice suggest they were acting on someone else’s orders… .”
“At 2 pm Friday, a reporter from a leading news channel approached me and said an FIR had been registered against me… I immediately called the station house officer concerned, who told me there was no such case. At around 1.30 am Saturday, 10 policemen reached my home without prior notice and informed me an FIR had been registered at 7.30 pm the previous day… I was not informed about this,” he added.