The Punjab Police on Wednesday filed a case against former Aam Aadmi Party leader and poet Kumar Vishwas and Congress leader Alka Lamba on Wednesday for their remarks against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, NDTV reported.
Ahead of Punjab Assembly elections in February, Vishwas had alleged that Kejriwal was willing to take the support of separatists during the 2017 state polls.
According to Vishwas, Kejriwal had said that he would either become the chief minister of Punjab or the “first prime minister of an independent nation”, in an apparent reference to Khalistan. The Khalistan movement is a separatist campaign aimed at creating a country for Sikhs by seceding from Punjab.
Lamba had reportedly supported Vishwas’ statements.
The police have booked Vishwas and Lamba under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), PTI reported.
The first information report was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by an Aam Aadmi Party leader who had alleged that him and other supporters of the party were called “Khalistani” by some masked men during an election campaign.
Such incidents have been happening regularly since Vishwas’ “inflammatory statements against AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal on news channels/ social media platforms alleging AAP links with separatist elements,” the FIR stated, according to NDTV.
The complainant alleged that the statements made by Vishwas were likely to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of Punjab.
On Wednesday, the Punjab Police served Vishwas a notice on the FIR at his Ghaziabad home.
While Vishwas has been asked to provide evidence for his allegations, Lamba has been asked to state the basis of which she supported his claims. Both of them have been summoned for questioning on April 26.
Vishwas, who was a founding member of the Aam Aadmi Party warned Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday from giving away the power of the state to “the person sitting in Delhi”, supposedly referring to Kejriwal.
“The country will remember my warning,” he wrote in a tweet.
Hours after Vishwas was served with the notice, Alka Lamba, who was earlier with the Aam Aadmi Party, wrote on Twitter that the Punjab Police had reached her home as well.
“The Punjab Police pasted a notice on the wall of my house and has also threatened me on behalf of the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government that I will face bad consequences if I fail to appear before the police on April 26,” she said. “This Gandhian soldier of the Congress did not fear the big sanghi [a person affilated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh], never mind the small sanghi.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Punjab unit General secretary Subhash Sharma accused Kejriwal of misusing the Punjab Police and described Mann as a puppet of the Delhi chief minister.
Congress MLA and former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said it was not a “badlaav [change] but badla [revenge] government.”
Former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu alleged that the Punjab Police was acting like Kejriwal’s puppet. “Police action against [Vishwas and Lamba] shows that it is being used to silence his critics,” he said.”… Congress stands firmly with Alka ji.”