Wednesday 25 May 2022
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Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga taken by ‘Kejriwal Police’

While Haryana Police intercepted Punjab Police that was taking away Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga from the capital, Delhi Police filed a case of abduction and assault against the force that arrested the BJP leader

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Punjab Police, which is under the AAP government of Bhagwant Singh Mann, picked Delhi BJP functionary Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga from the national capital today on a charge of ‘offensive’ tweets, which led to a furore on social media. Punjab Police said today that it had arrested Bagga from his residence in Delhi in connection with inflammatory speeches after the BJP leader failed to appear before it despite having been served five notices. He was being taken to Mohali to be produced in a court when Haryana Police intercepted the team in Kurukshetra and a team of Delhi Police left for Haryana to bring Bagga back, saying that Punjab Police had not followed the due procedure and, therefore, their modus operandi amounted to “abduction” and “assault”.

The arrest has renewed the allegation of Mann being a puppet of his party honcho Arvind Kejriwal who could not have used Delhi Police to arrest a BJP leader in Delhi.

Cops in Mohali said, “In pursuance of the orders of the high court to strictly adhere to the directions of the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar vs State of Bihar and another, 2014(8) SCC 273, the accused was served five notices u/s 41 A CrPC to come and join investigation. The notices were served on 9, 11, 15, 22 and 28 April. In spite of that, the accused deliberately did not join the investigation.”

Bagga has been taken to the Thanesar Police Station in Kurukshetra, Haryana, after the Punjab Police team was intercepted. According to sources in Haryana Police, the Delhi Police will be in Kurukshetra soon. The Punjab cops were stopped as Delhi Police accused them of not following due procedures, the sources said.

Delhi Police has filed an FIR against the Punjab Police for “abduction” and “assault”. Bagga was picked up by the Punjab Police this morning from his residence in west Delhi. They had intimated the Janakpuri police station before apprehending him, officials said, after he failed to appear before the police, despite allegedly being served five notices. Bagga has been arrested for “making/publishing provocative, false and communal inflammatory statements through his interview given to the media and through his posts on the social media site Twitter.”

Bagga’s mother has alleged that Punjab Police did not allow her to tie his siropa before the arrest and assaulted his father while he was trying to take a video of the incident. She also hit out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “daadagiri”.

Bagga’s mother Kamaljeet Kaur said that when she called up the Janakpuri station, she was told that Delhi Police had no information. “This kind of hooliganism by Kejriwal is not good. If you are in a good position, you should maintain the dignity of that position. Just because the Punjab police is in your hands, doesn’t mean you can do daadagiri wherever you want,” Kaur said.

The beleaguered mother said, “A team of Punjab Police arrived early morning and picked him (Bagga) up from our home. Tajinder was sleeping. He said he should be allowed to wear his slipper and tie his siropa, but they did not allow that. It is a huge crime to take a Sikh man away like this without letting him tie his siropa. When my husband tried to shoot the incident (on mobile), they snatched his phone and assaulted him too so that he could not inform anyone. He was punched in the face. He called me around 7 AM from the other phone he has and told me about the incident.”

Meanwhile, several leaders of the BJP and social media influencers who command massive followings threw their weight behind Bagga in an effort to secure his release. BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma slammed the AAP government, calling the arrest of BJP leader Bagga “illegal”.

“The Aam Aadmi Party has shown no law to justify the arrest. The manner in which he (Bagga) was taken is in direct violation of the order. Tanashahi nahi chalegi (Despotism will not be tolerated). The illegal arrest of party workers will not be tolerated and there will be a legal fight. This is a blatant misuse of state police and power,” she said in a press conference.

BJP Yuva Morcha President Tejasvi Surya today tagged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet, saying “You’ve messed with the wrong guys.”

Surya said that he had spoken to Bagga’s mother and assured her of the whole organisation’s support. “We will fight back,” Surya said.

Scientist Anand Ranganathan, who commands a following of more than 6,43,000 Twitter users, wrote: “Hearing the terrible news that Tajinder Bagga has just now been arrested by the Punjab police for his tweets on Arvind Kejriwal. I stand with Tajinder. And so should YOU (the people).”

In its defence, AAP chief spokesman Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga is a characterless man known for using abusive, nasty words. Through his tweets, he tried to provoke communal violence in Punjab. He was not arrested randomly from his house or anything like that. Punjab Police issued several summons to him but he never responded to them or cared to join the police investigation. Punjab Police is working to maintain peace, while Delhi Police and Haryana Police are trying to protect such gundas and hooligans.”

Bharadwaj said that this was not the first case against Bagga as he had been booked before for assaulting and brutally hitting a senior lawyer (Prashant Bhushan) and giving provocative speeches to instigate communal violence in the state.

On the kidnapping case that has been registered by Delhi Police, the AAP spokesman said, “This is between Delhi Police and Punjab Police. We will not interfere in matters between two state police the like BJP and its leaders do.”

Responding to the allegation of mishandling by the Bagga family, police officer Manpreet Singh, SP (Rural), Mohali, said that there was video footage of the arrest and they could be verified.

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