Two days after groups protesting the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat went on a rampage in Gurgaon, police have arrested Suraj Pal Amu, general secretary of the Rajput Karni Sena, and detained six others for the violence. On Thursday, police had arrested 23 people and detained eight minors.
Police said Amu was detained as a preventive measure and remanded in judicial custody by a Gurgaon court on Friday. Confirming this, Ravinder Kumar, PRO of Gurgaon Police, said, “Suraj Pal Amu, who was detained under sections 107/151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), has been sent to judicial custody until January 29. He will be lodged in Bhondsi Jail during this period.”
According to police, seven cases have been registered in connection with several incidents of violence across Gurgaon this week — including the torching of a bus in Bhondsi and a truck at Hero Honda Chowk, and a school bus being pelted with stones. Police said all 24 arrested accused have been sent to judicial custody.
Against the backdrop of posts on social media claiming that some of those apprehended were Muslims, PRO Kumar said: “No member from the Muslim community has been detained or arrested in connection with the Bhondsi violence or anywhere else in Gurgaon… The situation in Gurgaon is peaceful as of now, with police personnel still deployed at all malls and sensitive locations. Strenuous efforts are being made to identify the others involved in the violence. We expect to apprehend some more people soon.”
Meanwhile, residents of Gurgaon’s Bhondsi village — to which 18 of the accused belong — held a panchayat on Friday morning to discuss the release of “children” from the area, who were detained for allegedly torching the Haryana Roadways bus and attacking the G D Goenka school bus.
Claiming that the 18 were only bystanders, a resident claimed: “Those arrested include students returning from school or tuition… or those who had gone out to play. They were just watching what was happening. When police fired shots and ran after protesters, they also got scared and started running, but police arrested them.”
Residents also said a mahapanchayat will be held at 11 am on Sunday. Until then, they said, they will appeal to residents of nearby villages to join their “cause” and attend the meeting. Sanjay Raghav, ex-sarpanch of the village, said, “We want to appeal to the administration to release our children, all of whom are between 14 and 23 years of age… If they can prove that our children were involved in the violence, then we will support their arrest. However, if this cannot be proven, they should be released.”
“Neither our children nor any of us have anything to do with the Karni Sena…We also condemn the stoning of the school bus but it does not give police the right to arrest innocent people,” he said.