The Haryana Police on Friday handed over the custody of Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga to Delhi police, who took him back to the national Capital, NDTV reported.
Bagga was arrested from his Delhi home earlier in the day in a case lodged against him for allegedly making provocative statements against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
On Friday afternoon, the Punjab and Haryana High Court turned down a plea by the Punjab government to keep Bagga in Haryana, The Indian Express reported.
During the hearing, Punjab Advocate General Anmol Rattan Sidhu claimed that the intervention by the Haryana Police was a violation of law. However, the court did not accept his contention.
As a team of the Punjab Police was taking Bagga to Mohali, he was stopped en route by the Haryana Police, NDTV reported.
They were then taken to a police station in Kurukshetra. A team of Delhi Police officials had also reached the police station, after being called by their Haryana counterpart.
The Punjab Police team was stopped after Bagga’s father, Preetpal Singh Bagga, filed a kidnapping case with the Delhi Police. Preetpal Singh Bagga alleged that he had also been manhandled by the Punjab Police, The Indian Express reported.
“This morning, 10-15 police personnel came to our home and dragged Tajinder out,” Preetpal Bagga said, according to ANI. “When I picked up my mobile phone to record a video of the incident, police took me to another room and punched me in the face.”
His mother alleged that the police did not allow him to wear his turban.
BJP workers in Delhi protested against Bagga’s arrest outside the AAP’s office in the national Capital, ANI reported. The police later detained some of the protestors.
AAP MLA Atishi Marlena said in a press conference that the actions of the BJP and the police forces of Delhi and Haryana showed the true face of the saffron party. “When a goon is caught, the BJP deploys its entire organisation to defend the person, as the BJP itself is a party of goons and rioters,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Police asked the Haryana counterpart to release their team from the Kurukshetra police station.
“That it has come to notice that the police party has been stopped by Haryana Police on Karnal-Kurushetra highway,” the letter said. “This tantamounts to illegal detention and interference in administration of criminal justice system.”
In a tweet on Friday, BJP’s Delhi unit leader Kapil Mishra said that the Delhi Police have filed a case against Punjab Police officials on charges of trespassing, kidnapping, wrongful confinement, robbery, and outraging religious sentiments.
BJP youth wing president Tejasvi Surya said that the party was backing Bagga and would do everything in their capacity for his release.
“Have spoken with Tajinder Bagga’s mother,” Surya tweeted. “Assured her that entire organisation is with them in this hour of oppression. We will fight back! Arvind Kejriwal, you have messed with the wrong guys.”
Earlier on Friday, the Punjab Police said that they had sent five notices were sent to Bagga asking him to join the investigation.
“In spite of that the accused deliberately did not join the probe,” the police said, according to ANI. “Today morning following due process of law, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga was arrested from his home in Delhi.”
The complaint was filed by Sunny Singh Ahluwalia, a leader of the Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab unit.
Ahluwalia had complained that Bagga allegedly threatened Kejriwal during a protest outside the chief minister’s residence on March 30. During the protest, Bagga had allegedly told television channels that “he would not let Kejriwal live”.
The protest was held by BJP members after Kejriwal said that the makers of the movie The Kashmir Files should release it on video streaming platform YouTube so that everyone could watch it free of cost.
On Ahluwalia’s complaint, Bagga was booked by the Punjab Police on April 4 under Sections 153A (promoting enmity), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code on April 1.
Bagga was appointed as a BJP spokesperson in 2017 after he shot to prominence for staging violent demonstrations and posting provocative social media content. In 2018, Bagga had put up a poster in Delhi’s ITO, calling former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi the “father of mob lynching”.