The Uttarakhand Police on Sunday charged an MLA of the Bharatiya Janata Party with criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt, after a video purportedly showed him roughing up and hurling casteist abuses at two Dalit women. Besides the Indian Penal Code, Rajkumar Thukral was also booked under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, PTI reported.

On Friday, two families approached Thukral to sort out a dispute – a 16-year-old girl from one family and a 17-year-old boy from the other had eloped. Thukral, who represents the Rudrapur constituency in the Assembly, is believed to have lost his cool after the two sides got into a scuffle at the meeting at his house.

A video of the incident was widely shared on social media.

The BJP MLA has denied instigating any violence. “I took more than one and half hours to pacify them considering the sensitive nature of the matter,” he told The Times of India. “After a while, they left the meeting but started fighting outside my house. I had to intervene in order to prevent any unfortunate incident.”

The police registered a first information report on the basis of a complaint filed by one Ram Kishore, who complained on behalf of the victims. Sadanand Date, senior superintendent of police of Udham Singh Nagar district, said they had started an investigation.

Thukral also claimed that the allegations that he had assaulted the Dalit women and used abusive language were baseless. “It is a conspiracy to malign my image by making false allegations,” he said, according to PTI.

Uttarakhand BJP President Ajay Bhatt told ANI that the party had served Thukral a notice because of the incident.