Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti on Monday had ink thrown at him in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli and was arrested later for allegedly making objectionable remarks.
He was arrested for criminal intimidation and promoting enmity between groups, police said, following remarks allegedly referring to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the state’s hospitals.
Minutes earlier, a youth threw ink at the Delhi MLA when he was coming out of a guest house.
Superintendent of Police (of Rae Bareli) Shlok Kumar said, “Ink was thrown on the AAP MLA, and the matter is being probed.”
According to a purported video clip, the AAP MLA said in Hindi, “Children are being born in hospitals, but they are of dogs.”
Shortly after ink was flung at him, Mr Bharti also retweeted a video clip in which he is heard using a derogatory term for Yogi Adityanath, while talking about “atrocities on women” in the state.
Amethi police arrested Mr Bharti, a former Delhi minister, in Rae Bareli on Monday morning, on the basis of a complaint filed by BJP worker Somnath Sahu over the alleged remarks made last week.
The arrest took place less than an hour after the ink-throwing incident.
Mr Bharti has been sent to 14 days judicial custody, he wrote on Twitter.
Shocked to learn that my bail application has been kept pending till 13th January n I am sent to judicial custody of 14 days.
— Adv. Somnath Bharti (@attorneybharti) January 11, 2021
Reacting to Mr Bharti’s remarks, Shalabh Mani Tripathi, information advisor to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, said, “Everybody has a right to contest polls and do politics in a democracy, and level allegations against each other, it is welcome.”
“But using indecent language for a chief minister, you are using abusive language, you are saying to a policeman who is discharging his duty that his uniform will be removed. This is the language of the goons.
“Arvind Kejriwal is himself a chief minister. If he has the slightest idea about the post of a chief minister, then he should tender an apology to the entire country for the statement made by Bharti for UP’s popular chief minister,” Mr Tripathi said.
A case was registered against Mr Bharti under section 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) and section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code, Additional Superintendent of Police Daya Ram said.