While Punjab Police had to release Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga yesterday when intercepted by Haryana Police on the basis of a Delhi Police FIR accusing Chief Minister Bhawant Singh Mann’s men in uniform of abducting” and assaulting the BJP activist, a day later, a Mohali court issued a fresh arrest warrant against him — with the Twitterati saying Arvind Kejriwal has been misusing his influence on the AAP government in the other state to settle personal scores, as the case against Bagga is of tweeting against the Delhi chief minister.
Kejriwal had earlier tried to get even with his former colleague Kumar Vishwas using the services of Punjab Police.
BJP leaders and supporters raised questions about the manner of arrest of Bagga. Delhi Police, which reports to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, registered a case of kidnapping based on a complaint by Bagga’s father Pritpal Singh that some people came to his house in Delhi’s Janakpuri around 8 AM and took away his son.
The Mohali court today issued an arrest warrant against Bagga and instructed the police to arrest him and produce him before the court in connection with a case registered last month.
The arrest warrant was issued by the court of Judicial Magistrate Ravtesh Inderjit Singh. “Whereas Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, s/o Pritpal Singh, r/o B-1/170, Janak Puri New Delhi stands charged with the offence punishable U/Sec 153-A, 505, 505 (2), 506 IPC. You are hereby directed to arrest the said Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga and to produce him before me,” the judge said in the order.
The case will now be heard on 23 May.
The FIR registered on 1 April referred to Bagga’s remarks on March 30, when he was part of a BJP youth wing protest outside the residence of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Bagga: Will keep raising voice against AAP, Kejriwal
Earlier today, Bagga slammed the ruling AAP in Punjab, saying he was branded a “disruptive” leader by political opponents as he was active both on social media and in the field to expose them.
Surrounded by reporters, family members and friends at his Janakpuri residence, Bagga expressed his “redoubled” resolve to raise his voice against AAP and its chief Arvind Kejriwal.
“Whether one or one hundred FIRs are registered against me, I will keep raising issues of dishonouring of Guru Granth Sahib and Kejriwal’s insult to Kashmiri Pandits,” he said.
Bagga said except for the case related to Advocate Prashant Bhushan, there was nothing that justified his image distortion by the media and opposition party leaders.
Bagga said that while he was being taken to Punjab after his arrest, the police tried to persuade him not to raise issues pertaining to dishonouring of Guru Granth Sahib and The Kashmir Files movie. “They told me why was I getting myself involved with matters of another state when I lived in Delhi,” Bagga claimed.
The BJP leader also claimed that over 50 cops of Punjab Police came to arrest him as they would do it with a “terrorist”. “I was not shown any warrant. When nearly eight people picked me up, I told them to let me tie my turban. They did not give me the chance to wear the turban and slippers. I was thrown into the vehicle. I was kidnapped by the Punjab police. The local police were also not informed. Nearly 50 policemen came as they do it with a terrorist,” the Delhi BJP leader said.
Punjab govt moves two applications before high court
Meanwhile, the Punjab government moved two applications before the Punjab and Haryana High Court today, seeking a direction to make the union government a party to the Bagga dispute. It requested that the 6 May CCTV footage of Janakpuri and Kurukshetra police stations be preserved.
The Punjab government has alleged that its police personnel were “detained” at Janakpuri and Kurukshetra police stations when they had gone to arrest Bagga in connection with a case registered against him at Mohali last month.
Additional Solicitor-General Satya Pal Jain, who represented Delhi Police, said today, “They (the Punjab government) have moved these two applications. When a notice is issued by the court we will reply to that.”
One of the two applications by the Punjab government seeks to implead the Union of India and the Delhi Police commissioner as respondents. The second plea asks for the preservation of CCTV footage at Pipli and Sadar police stations in Kurukshetra (Haryana) and Janakpuri police station (Delhi) dated 6 May.
Yesterday, the Punjab government had moved a habeas corpus petition in the high court against the alleged detention of their personnel, a charge denied by Delhi and Haryana police. The matter was heard by the bench of Justice Lalit Batra.
The additional solicitor-general said that with the consent of all parties, the hearing today was adjourned for 10 May as the habeas corpus was looked into by another bench.
Acted on ‘kidnapping’ message from Delhi Police, Haryana tells court
Meanwhile, in a written statement before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Haryana government said that it was acting on a message of “kidnapping” from Delhi Police in the Tajinder Bagga case.
SP Kurukshetra Anshu Singla’s status report details the sequence of events from yesterday and denies that Haryana Police had detained the Punjab Police personnel who were taking Bagga to Mohali from Delhi.
Singla said that the message from Delhi Police mentioned the “kidnapped” person as Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga and also contained the registration number of the vehicle in which he was being taken and others in the motorcade.
AAP: Bagga tried to fuel violence, Punjab cops followed due process
Rejecting allegations of vendetta politics, the Aam Aadmi Party had said yesterday that Punjab Police had arrested Bagga from Delhi for trying to stoke communal tensions and violence in Punjab.
Defending the action by the Punjab Police, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said a case was lodged against Bagga after he tried to create communal tensions and incite violence in Punjab through his social media posts.
“Bagga over the recent past has tried his best to spread hate and animosity in Punjab. Which is why the Punjab Police filed a case against him,” he said.
The AAP has accused the BJP and its governments also of protecting its “goon” who incited riots in Punjab. A section of the media, in the meantime, forgot journalistic neutrality and used the hashtag #BJPGundoKiParty on Twitter while carrying the news of the development.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “The BJP is a party of goons which makes even its government do the job of goons. Never even by mistake, these people talk about education, health, inflation and unemployment.”
A national secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Bagga was held in connection with a case registered against him in Mohali last month. He was booked on the charges of making provocative statements, promoting enmity and alleged criminal intimidation.
The case was registered on a complaint of AAP leader Sunny Ahluwalia, a resident of Mohali, Punjab.
The Punjab government said that Bagga was served notices on five occasions in connection with the case, but he did not respond.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police said that the Punjab cops did not inform the local police before arresting Bagga nor did they follow the laid down procedure while making the arrest. “So far as the Delhi Police is concerned, we have acted within the legal parameters as laid down by the courts. Punjab Police did not consult us or inform us before taking Mr Bagga into custody. Those who had gone there (to Bagga’s home in Delhi) they were also not in uniform, they were in plainclothes,” said the Delhi Police counsel.