Aam Aadmi Party legislator Naresh Yadav has been named in an FIR lodged after torn pages of the Quran were found in Punjab’s Malerkotla town last week. He was booked by the Sangur police after the alleged orchestrator Vijay Kumar told officials he had “desecrated” the holy book on Yadav’s orders, for which he was offered Rs 1 crore, The Indian Express reported.
Kumar and two others – zonal secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Pathankot Nand Kishore Goldy and his son Gaurav – were arrested earlier and reportedly confessed. The police alleged that Kumar had said he “hated Pakistan and Muslims” and wanted to exact “revenge for the Dinanagar and Pathankot terrorist attacks”. Kishore and Gaurav allegedly helped conspire with him in the case.
The news of Yadav’s involvement comes as AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal begins his three-day visit to Punjab from Sunday. According to Sangrur Senior Superintendent of Police Pritpal Singh Thind, Kumar had claimed the plan was to create communal tension and hostile feelings towards the state government.
“Vijay Kumar told us that Yadav told him that AAP wants to win Punjab 2017 polls by hook or by crook. Thus, their plan was to instigate people on communal lines so that they vent their anger against SAD-BJP [Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party] and Congress and vote for AAP in next polls,” the police chief said, adding that they will seek an arrest warrant for the AAP MLA.
The AAP, however, said Yadav was being “falsely implicated” to defame the party. AAP national spokesperson Sanjay Singh said the SAD-BJP government in Punjab had gone “berserk” as they can “see their defeat clearly in the upcoming polls”. Yadav has claimed the allegation are baseless and that he does not know Kumar.
On June 25, more than 250 people were booked in Malerkotla after pages of the Quran were reportedly found in the town. Violence ensued after a group of around 300 protestors arrived at local Akali Dal MLA Farzana Nissara Khatoon’s house at 1 am to complain about the incident.