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AAP MLA to be summoned in Malerkotla sacrilege case: Punjab Police

Punjab police will summon AAP MLA Naresh Yadav for questioning in connection with the alleged sacrilege incident in Malerkotla on June 24 after one of accused claimed that he had acted at the behest of the legislator.

AAP MLA to be summoned in Malerkotla sacrilege case: Punjab Police
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AAP MLA Naresh Yadav (Image: Twitter)

Chandigarh

Refuting the allegations, Yadav, who is MLA from Mehrauli, and his Aam Aadmi Party alleged that it was a conspiracy to malign the party's image ahead of Assembly polls in Punjab where it is stepping up campaign with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal embarking on a three-day visit today.

"We will summon AAP MLA Naresh Yadav in order to question him regarding Malerkotla incident," Sangrur SSP Prithpal Singh Thind said.

He said the MLA's name has appeared while questioning the accused who had been arrested for their alleged role in the sacrilege of a religious book in Malerkotla.

"During our investigation and questioning of accused, it was revealed that accused had met him (AAP MLA).

"Calls were also exchanged between the accused and AAP MLA," claimed Thind.

Asked whether police suspected Mehrauli MLA as the mastermind behind the sacrilege incident, SSP said it will be known after questioning Yadav.

The Sangrur police had arrested three men – Vijay Kumar, Nand Kishor Goldy and Gaurav - on June 27 in connection with the Malerkotla case.

Delhi-based Vijay, an accused in the case, had yesterday claimed in Patiala that he 'did at the behest' of Yadav.

Vijay was yesterday taken to Rajindra Medical college and hospital by police for check-up.

Violence had erupted after the alleged sacrilege incident which had taken place in Malerkotla on June 24 in which a mob had even attacked the house of local Akali Dal MLA Farzana Nissara Khatoon, wife of former Punjab DGP.

Several policemen including a DSP were injured as about 300-400 protesters had indulged in stone pelting and torched a car.

"This is false charge. When everyone across the country - Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians- are supporting us and when we are winning elections, why will I do it?

"I have no involvement in the case. If there is any proof then hang me. This is a conspiracy and I have nothing to do with the matter. The whole country knows that only one party can do this," Yadav said, hitting out at the BJP.

AAP also lashed out at the ruling SAD-BJP alliance over the issue. Its leader Ashutosh said it reflects BJP's desperation as his party is 'sweeping' the polls scheduled to be held early next year.

"Now ruling Akalis do not have any issue with them for contesting polls and they know that they are losing their ground.

"Therefore they have resorted to these things which are highly condemnable. It is a political conspiracy to defame AAP ahead of elections. We knew that ruling party will indulge in such cheap moves," AAP's Punjab Convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur said.

Kejriwal will be in Amritsar today as part of his three-day visit to Punjab. He will release party’s youth manifesto, besides meeting different section of the society at Gurdaspur, Ludhiana, Malerkotla, Jalandhar and Khanna.

BJP and Congress attacked AAP over the issue saying Arvind Kejriwal's party has been exposed.

"People have seen the real face of AAP, which is trying to create communal tension in Punjab for electoral gains but it will not be successful," BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said.

Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said AAP was led by a person who is 'mad with lust of power'. "AAP is a communal party and it will exploit any emotive issue," he said.

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