Muzaffarnagar:┬á The Uttar Pradesh police today arrested another BJP leader accused of inciting the Hindu-Muslim tension that left nearly 50 people dead and 40,000 homeless in Muzaffarnagar earlier this month. BJP president Rajnath Singh, who was refused permission to visit the riot-hit western UP town today, has demanded that President’s Rule be imposed in the state
- Sangeet Som, the second BJP legislator who was arrested today, is accused of circulating a fake video that escalated the unrest that resulted in the communal riots. He was arrested shortly after he surrendered in Meerut.
- Before surrendering, Mr Som once again rejected the allegations against him and said, “I did not upload the video. My office boys shared it. I came to know and removed it in five minutes.” The controversial video claimed to show the lynching of two Hindu Jat boys; the footage was actually two years old and from Pakistan, the police have said.
- Mr Som also accused the UP government of targeting BJP leaders. “I will tell the Chief Minister that he is young and he should stop playing partisan politics and try and be equal to all communities,” he said.
- BJP president Rajnath Singh said the district administration today sent him a letter urging him not to go to Muzaffarnagar saying his visit could disturb the law and order in the area. “I deeply condemn that they didn’t allow me to visit Muzaffarnagar,” he said, adding that President’s Rule should be imposed in the state.
- Yesterday, the UP police had arrested BJP MLA Suresh Rana. Mr Rana has denied making any inflammatory speech and has dared the UP government to produce evidence against him.
- There are several other leaders, including those from the Congress and the BSP, who have been slapped with the same charges. But none have been arrested so far despite arrest warrants against them.
- The BJP has slammed the Akhilesh Yadav government for its alleged “selective action”.
- “The Muslim appeasement policy of the Samajwadi government has been exposed,” BJP state president Laxmi Kant Bajpai said yesterday.
- Rejecting the allegations, the Samajwadi Party maintains that other politicians will also be arrested soon. “More arrests will happen. Just wait and see,” said Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal yesterday.
- In protest against the arrest of its leaders, the BJP has called for a bandh in western Uttar Pradesh on Monday.