Updated: July 17, 2021 5:24:35 pm
Five people were arrested in Agra late on Thursday night for allegedly raising “Pakistan zindabad” slogan at a demonstration held by the Samajwadi Party in the district. The SP, however, said the arrested persons were not associated with the party and that it was a conspiracy to defame it.
The arrests were made after an FIR was lodged against them and 25 unidentified people at the Nai ki Mandi police station. They were booked under several IPC sections, including 147 (rioting), 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 505 (2) (Statements conducing to public mischief), 120-B (criminal conspiracy). The accused have also been booked under Epidemic Diseases Control Act.
The five arrested people have been identified as Pankaj alias Paare, Arif Khan, Chandra Prakash, Deepak Valmiki and Madhukar Singh.
The complaint, lodged by Sub-Inspector Vikas Rana, reads, “…I heard in conversations that on July 15, during a march held by the Samajwadi Party, slogans were raised of Pakistan zindabad by the following people… They were being supported by another 20-25 unidentified people. A video of this incident became viral on social media where these people were not observing physical distancing and not wearing masks as well.”
Agra (Range) IG Naveen Arora said the police were going through the videos to identify the others. “The other accused who were involved will also be arrested,” said Arora.
Asked if the arrested people belonged to the SP, Arora said: “The SP had held protests yesterday over some issues. These people were all part of the protest, so we are treating them as SP workers. The matter is being probed.”
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party said the arrested people did not have any affiliation with the party. “I don’t know the five people named in the FIR. They are not our party workers and I don’t know where they came from and did all this. This is part of a conspiracy to defame the Samajwadi Party,” said SP Agra Mahanagar chief Wajid Nisar on Friday.
“As soon as I got to know about the viral video, I wrote a letter to police officers demanding action against those who had raised these slogans. Our party members are not involved in this,” added Nisar.
SP spokesperson Juhie Singh said the party hoped that strict action was taken against those who had raised the slogans. “They should ensure speedy probe and quick action,” said Singh.
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