AAP MLA Surinder Singh was arrested on Friday for allegedly using caste-based expletives against an employee of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on August 5.
The Delhi Police also arrested his driver Pankaj and assistant Praveen for allegedly beating up the civic worker.
Jatin Nariwal, deputy commissioner of police-designate of New Delhi, confirmed the arrest. “We have arrested Surinder Singh and we will produce him in a city court within 24 hours,” he said.
According to police, the incident had taken place when NDMC employees were conducting routine checks near Tughlaq Road and were questioning a vegetable vendor near the signal.
“Suddenly, AAP MLA Surinder Singh intervened and started arguing with the civic authorities. A fight ensued and the MLA’s driver beat up one NDMC employee. Though the MLA did not beat up the employee, he used caste-based expletives against him and threatened him of dire consequences,” a police officer said.
Singh, meanwhile, had claimed that the NDMC employees were demanding Rs 3,000 from the vegetable vendor and had also beaten him up.
“I am also an NDMC member and that is why I went ahead to stop the problem. I did not beat up or abuse anyone,” he said.
The trio had been booked under sections 332, 353, 367, 186 , 511, 506 , 34 of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 3 (10) of the SC/ST Act for allegedly beating ‘beldar’ (repairman) Mukesh, an employee of the NDMC.
When police started sending notices to the MLA to question him over the issue, he failed to turn up.
On August 11, Singh had met Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi and “explained” the reasons for not turning up for questioning.
“I explained to the commissioner that I was out of Delhi for four days and I was unable to join the police for investigation,” he had said.
His plea for anticipatory bail was later rejected by a city court.
In a strongly-worded press release, the ruling AAP “condemned” the arrest, terming it “suspicious”.
“It is quite astonishing, the manner in which he was arrested on Friday. The MLA, a public representative himself, went to meet the police top brass, and was questioned then. What was the need to arrest him on Friday? The action of Delhi Police, on a motivated allegation, is highly condemnable and suspicious. It is clear that the arrest has been done to divert attention from some other issues,” the statement said.