Bagga was arrested by the Punjab Police on Friday morning from his home, stopped in Haryana while being taken to Punjab and brought back to the national capital by Delhi Police hours later.
In the latest development, the Punjab and Haryana High court on Friday turned down the Punjab government’s request of not giving BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga’s custody to the Delhi Police and keep him in Haryana.
The court will now hear the matter on Saturday. The Punjab government had moved a habeas corpus petition in the High Court on Friday.
The dramatic development only drew police of three states to this incident. The AAP rules Delhi and Punjab while the BJP governs Haryana. However, Delhi Police comes under the Union Home ministry and not the AAP-led Delhi government.
Here are the latest developments to this story
-Preetpal Singh, the father of arrested Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, alleged that a team of 15-20 Punjab Police personnel barged into their Janakpuri home around 8 am, punched him in the face and did not allow his son to put on his turban while they were arresting him.
-The cavalcade of vehicles with Bagga was on its way from Delhi to Mohali in Punjab, about 250 km away, when it was held up in Kurukshetra, about halfway between the two cities.
Asked why the Punjab Police team was stopped, a Haryana Police official said there was information that Bagga had been “forcibly” picked up from his residence. “We have to verify and crosscheck these things,” he said.
–Delhi cops took Tajinder Bagga’s custody from Punjab Police. The Delhi Police also registered a case of kidnapping based on a complaint by Bagga’s father Preetpal Singh. The Punjab government, on its part, moved the high court against the “detention” of its police team in Kurukshetra, Haryana.
-The exact reasons for Bagga’s arrest and the legality of it were not clear.
-The BJP accused Punjab Police of “abducting” its leader, who has been vocal in his criticism of Arvind Kejriwal, and accused the AAP chief and Delhi chief minister of pursuing vendetta through the state police.
-The Aam Aadmi Party rejected BJP’s charge and said the Delhi BJP spokesperson was arrested for allegedly stoking communal tension in Punjab.
Accusation against Tajinder Singh Pal Bagga
Punjab Police said it arrested Bagga in connection with a case registered in Mohali on 1 April. The 1 April FIR referred to Bagga’s remarks on 30 March, when he was part of a BJP youth wing protest outside Kejriwal’s residence.
Punjab Police had booked Bagga on charges of making provocative statements, promoting enmity and criminal intimidation. The case was registered on a complaint of AAP leader from Mohali Sunny Ahluwalia.
Bagga had also come under AAP fire for his tweet against the Delhi chief minister over the film “The Kashmir Files”.
FIR against Bagga was registered under relevant IPC sections, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place, etc.), 505 (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
Following the arrest, Punjab Police said in a statement that Bagga had been served five notices “under Sections 41 A CrPC to come and join the investigation. The notices dated April 9, 11, 15, 22 and 28 were duly served upon. Despite that, the accused deliberately did not join the investigation”.
It said due process of law had been followed.
Unrest following Tajinder Singh Bagga’s arrest
Delhi BJP leaders and workers headed by state president Adesh Gupta staged a protest against arrest of party spokesperson Tajinderpal Singh Bagga by Punjab Police on Friday.
The protesters raised slogans against AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and the Punjab Police even as police here tried to stop them from moving to AAP headquarters on DDU Marg.
Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, Delhi BJP vice president Virendra Sachdeva, Vikram Mittal, party spokesperson Praveen Kapoor and many other leaders were present in the protest.
Reactions to the dramatic chain of events
Addressing a press conference, Delhi BJP leader Nupur Sharma cited a court ruling to say that police from another state must inform the local police before making any arrest. Punjab Police’s action, she said, was illegal as it did not inform its Delhi counterparts.
The Punjab cops had not informed the local police in Delhi before arresting Bagga, a Delhi Police official said.
Though AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj referred to the clashes in Patiala on 29 April, Punjab Police said it arrested Bagga in connection with a case registered in Mohali on 1 April.
Defending the Punjab Police’s action, Bharadwaj told reporters that the state police registered a case against Bagga last month after the BJP leader, through his social media posts, “tried to create communal tension and incite violence in the state”.
“Because of such statements, the Punjab Police lodged an FIR and now arrested Bagga. His statements were communal in nature. A lot of BJP-linked people were instigating the violence in Patiala,” Bhardwaj alleged.
Delhi BJP leaders, including state unit president Adesh Gupta, held their own press conference and slammed
Kejriwal, saying their leader had been picked up for “unmasking” his lies.
“It is said that if you want to see someone’s real face, give that person power. The real character and face of Kejriwal has now come to the fore,” Gupta said.
BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa added that a Sikh, a reference to Bagga, has been “insulted” despite Punjab having a Sikh chief minister in Bhagwant Mann.
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