The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday arrested Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi legislator Somnath Bharti for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Chief Minister Adityanath and for commenting about the dismal condition of hospitals in the state, reported The Indian Express.
The complaint was filed by Bharatiya Janata Party member Somnath Sahu against Bharti at Jagdishpur Police Station in Amethi for his derogatory statements about the chief minister, according to Bar and Bench. Another first information report was registered against him at Rae Bareli, on a complaint by Kotwali Station House Officer Atul Kumar Singh, after the politician allegedly misbehaved with the police.
Bharti was on his way out to visit a government school in Rae Bareli on Monday to highlight the crumbling state of infrastructure under the Adityanath-led government. But the police did not allow him to leave, and surrounded the guest house where the politician was staying, according to NDTV. They said the neighbouring Amethi police wanted to question and arrest Bharti in a case filed against him for certain “derogatory remarks”.
This led to an altercation between the politician and the police personnel. In the middle of this, a group of people, including right-wing activists, also arrived at the spot. One of them splashed ink on Bharti. The incident led to another heated argument between Bharti and the police. A 23-second video of the argument purportedly shows the angry AAP leader use derogatory language against Adityanath.
As per the complainant filed in Rae Bareli, Bharti, instead of cooperating with officers, misbehaved with the police personnel, and threatened to strip them off their uniforms. It further alleged that Bharti’s supporters resorted to sloganeering and “created an undesirable situation”.
The Rae Bareli police said they charged Bharti under sections of the Indian Penal Code for “voluntarily causing hurt to any person being a public servant in the discharge of his duty, rioting, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty” among others. He was also accused of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.
The AAP MLA was arrested and produced before a local court, which sent him to judicial custody for 14 days. Bharti, who is a Member of Delhi Legislative Assembly, has moved an application for his release on bail. It will be heard by the court concerned on January 13.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia condemned Bharti’s arrest. “Our MLA is going to see a school in Uttar Pradesh was attacked and then arrested too,” he tweeted, tagging Adityanath. “When I came to see your school, you stopped me too! How bad is your school that you have to stop people using police?”