Relatives of Aam Aadmi Party politician Amanatullah Khan were allegedly baton-charged by police in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh when they were celebrating his successful re-election bid from Okhla constituency of Delhi, the Hindustan Times reported. Police said the celebrations were stopped as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code were in place in the district.
The incident took place in Khan’s native village Agwanpur on Tuesday evening, soon after election results were announced. Police stopped the celebrations, and baton-charged residents of the village to disperse them. Khan’s relatives claimed some policemen assaulted young girls, and pulled the hair of one, forcing her to take them around the village to help them find the relatives who fled after the baton-charge, the newspaper reported.
Parikshatgarh police station house officer Kailash Chand told Hindustan Times that the allegations against policemen were false and “concocted stories”. “The villagers were taking out a procession and we stopped them in wake of Section 144 in the district and no force was applied against villagers,” he said.
Khan said such incidents were a result of “politics of hate”. “They were celebrating my victory when the cops beat them up,” he told The Quint. “Although nobody sustained serious injuries, but such action by the police is condemnable. They are my relatives and we will file a complaint tomorrow [Thursday].”
Residents of the village said 13 identified persons and some other unidentified people were booked for violation of Section 144. Khan’s relative Noorullah was mentioned as the main troublemaker, they said.
Noorullah and others denied there was any procession, and claimed they were distributing sweets and had called a traditional drummer to celebrate. Residents said ruckus ensued when police began the baton-charge, and all male members fled from the spot fearing arrest.
Amanatullah Khan was re-elected to the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday after he defeated Bharatiya Janata Party’s Braham Singh by a massive margin of 71,827 votes. Okhla, a Muslim-dominated constituency, has been the epicentre of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and proposed National Register of Citizens. Both Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar are in this constituency.