Meerut Police has filed a chargesheet against former BSP MLA Yogesh Verma in a case lodged against him under Arms Act for allegedly carrying a pistol during the April 2 Bharat Bandh. The bandh was called by different Dalit groups to protest against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Verma (49), who is currently lodged in the district jail, is also named in 12 other cases of violence on April 2 and chargesheets have been filed in all those cases. He has been booked under the National Security Act (NSA) as well.
The former MLA’s wife Sunita, mayor of Meerut, however, alleged that charges against her husband are “politically motivated” and that the pistol was a licensed one and belonged to his private gunner, Mahesh Kumar. Both Verma and Kumar were arrested on April 2.
Investigating Officer (IO) in the case, also named Mahesh Kumar, said: “When Yogesh Verma was arrested on April 2, a .32 bore pistol was recovered from him. The charges against him show that Verma was firing from the same weapon. A case under Arms Act was lodged against him. During investigation, no one came forward to claim the ownership of the pistol.”
“The chargesheet was filed against Verma yesterday (Friday) at a local court in Meerut. As per the FIR, police had also arrested one Mahesh Kumar of Bulandshahr district in connection with the violence. Police records do not mention if Mahesh Kumar was carrying any licensed weapon when he was arrested,” said Kumar, who is posted as the senior sub-inspector of Kankarkhera police station.
Alleging that the police did not investigate the case properly and filed the chargesheet in a hurry, Sunita said: “My husband’s private gunner, Mahesh, was carrying both the pistol and the licence when he was arrested. But, the police did not mention it in the chargesheet. Police even denied having the licence of the pistol at the police station. But, I have arranged a photocopy of the licence and will produce it in the court.”
Verma’s son Tushar, too, alleged that cases filed against his father are based on “false allegations”. “Police have filed chargesheet in all 13 cases against my father. The last chargesheet under Arms Act was filed yesterday. We will contest in court.”
He further said, “I have sent an application to the state government praying for revoking of NSA against my father. I have also attached video footages and newspaper cuttings in my application in which my father is seen helping the policemen to control the violence (on April 2). I have also attached affidavits by several locals stating that my father was with policemen and not with the people involved in the violence on April 2.”
Station House Officer (SHO) of Kankarkhera police station Deepak Sharma said following the district magistrate’s order NSA was invoked against Verma on May 8.