High drama was witnessed at Hyatt Regency hotel on Saturday night as the son of a former BSP Parliamentarian brandished a gun to threaten a man and a woman, following an argument inside the premises. The incident, captured on a phone camera by one of the accused’s companions, went viral on Tuesday, prompting the Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, to intervene.
Following a complaint by a staffer at the RK Puram hotel, Delhi Police issued a lookout circular against the accused Ashish Pandey (40), who hails from Lucknow and is the son of former BSP MP Rakesh Pandey. His brother, Ritesh, is a sitting Uttar Pradesh MLA from Ambedkar Nagar. The man he threatened, Kanwar Gaurav, is the son of ex-MLA Kanwar Karan Singh.
JCP (southwest) Ajay Chaudhary said police have booked Pandey under sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and IPC sections 321, 506 and 323. IPC section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) was added later, after the man and woman he threatened gave a written statement before police.
Three police teams have been sent to Lucknow and Ambedkar Nagar to arrest Pandey. Police said the accused, who is married and has a child, was not present at his home or office. In a one-minute video of the incident that surfaced on social media, Pandey is seen brandishing a pistol and threatening the man and the woman. He is accompanied by three women, who are also arguing with the couple. Police said one of the three women in the video had made the recording. Hurling expletives, Pandey is heard saying in the video: “Lucknow se hoon… Tu kal mil mujhe (I am from Lucknow… you meet me tomorrow).”
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According to police, one of Pandey’s friends, Sahil Girdhar, was detained on Tuesday from Delhi and said he had organised a party at the hotel. After the video went viral, police approached the hotel about the incident. A case was filed based on a complaint by assistant security manager Sawan Kumar. In the FIR, Kumar said: “Around 3.40 am on Saturday, I got a call from a staff member that a male guest had entered the ladies washroom. I reached the spot with female staff, and found he was arguing with some other guests outside.”
Police said the argument continued as they walked out of the hotel. “Two women went and sat in the car while one woman and the male member (Pandey) argued with the couple. The man went to his car, brought a pistol and threatened to kill the couple,” stated the FIR. Pandey then drove away while continuing to threaten the two.
In a statement Tuesday, the Hyatt Regency said: “We take the incident seriously and have been working with the local police.” Rijiju tweeted: “Strong, appropriate action will be taken.”