The Punjab Police Sunday arrested Shiv Sena (Taksali) president Sudhir Suri over an objectionable video clip allegedly denigrating women and inciting enmity between different groups.
He was arrested from Indore in Madhya Pradesh, nearly 1300 km from Amritsar.
Two Punjab Police teams, comprising 11 personnel of Amritsar (Rural) district, nabbed Suri on Sunday morning, said Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta.
Suri, who has been provided 15 personnel by the Punjab Police as part of his security detail, had managed to escape to Indore after a fresh FIR under non bailable sections was registered against him here on July 8. It was the sixth case in which Suri has been booked for hate mongering.
“A manhunt was launched for him after the release of a video with alleged derogatory remarks against women, followed by a Facebook video in which he had subsequently claimed that the objectionable video clip was a voiceover by some other person using his name,” a police statement read.
The DGP said the Jandiala police in Amritsar (Rural) had booked Suri on July 8 in a criminal case under sections 153A, 354A, 509 of Indian Penal Code and 67 of the Information Technology Act after the first video went viral and was heavily criticised both in India and abroad.
While Suri denied any involvement in the video clip, the DGP said he had ordered a massive manhunt against the suspect through Amritsar (Rural) police. Gupta said he had also directed the Punjab Bureau of Investigation to get the clip examined though the Forensic Science Laboratory at the earliest.
Subsequent investigations revealed that fearing arrest, Suri could have fled to Indore, said the DGP, disclosing that the operation was successfully conducted in coordination with the Madhya Pradesh police. The DGP said he personally spoke to Vivek Johri, his counterpart in Madhya Pradesh, at the time of the dispatch of the two police teams to Indore.
The teams, consisting of one deputy superintendent of police (crime against women), two sub-inspectors, three assistant sub-inspectors and five constables, drove non-stop for 21 hours to reach Indore, where Suri was caught.
Punjab Police is now moving for bail cancellation requests before the concerned judicial courts in cases where Suri has already been bailed out earlier. The first case of hate mongering was registered against Suri in 2014.
The DGP asserted a zero-tolerance policy against any individuals or organisations trying to incite communal hatred and fan communal passions through their speeches, statements, writings, posts on social media platforms etc.
He further said the Punjab Police was highly sensitive towards dignity, safety and security of women and would take strict action, as per law, against anyone showing women in bad light.