Tuesday, 06 March 2018 | PNS | Dehradun –
In an incident that might turn into a political flashpoint between the ruling and the opposition parties with a month left for the local body election, Roorkee Mayor Yashpal Rana of Congress was arrested and sent to 14 days’ judicial custody on Monday on charge of beating a BJP councillor Chandra Prakash Bata on Sunday evening. It was alleged that during the scuffle which was triggered by a parking dispute, Bata was dragged to police post of Gangnahar police station. Police acted after the councillor’s brother Devendra Verma registered a complaint. Subsequently, a case under sections 147/148/149/323/307 of IPC was registered against the Mayor Rana, his son Lavi Rana, a supporter Suraj and four other unidentified persons in the Gangnahar police station.
The arrest of the Mayor triggered a flurry of protest as Congress leaders, including Piran Kaliyar MLA Furkan Ahmad and Bhagwanpur MLA Mamta Rakesh, gheraoed Gangnahar police station where the Mayor was taken to after his arrest and vented anger against the state government, alleging that the arrest was part of a malicious conspiracy hatched by the ruling BJP to finish off the principal opposition party of the state. Later, Congress activists blocked roads in protest. They withdrew after the administration assured that cross FIR would be registered on the case.
Congress MLA Furkan Ahmad alleged that the administration was dithering on registering cross FIR under pressure of the ruling party. “We demanded the FIR be lodged on the basis of the medical report. However, Section 307 of IPC was included in the FIR to make things more difficult for the arrested Mayor. Things were not one-sided as they are being projected. The Mayor and his supporters were also injured during the scuffle. There is thus no justification for the police of not registering a cross FIR,” he said, adding that despite having assured to register a cross FIR on the matter, no such FIR has been registered till Monday evening. Uttarakhand state Congress chief Pritam Singh would reach Roorkee on Tuesday after which Congress would decide its future course of action, the MLA said.
The BJP state president Ajay Bhatt, however, defended the arrest of the Mayor, saying that the Mayor had beaten the councillor mercilessly along with his family members. “They dragged the councillor who is known for honesty to the police post. However, BJP has nothing to do with the arrest. Law is taking its own course,” he said.
Police sources said that the councillor had sustained serious injuries in the attack. Things started after the Mayor’s son asked the councillor’s nephew to take away his car from the place it was parked on Ramdayal Chowk. As altercation turned into a fracas the councillor and the Mayor along with his relatives and supporters reached the spot. As per the charges, the Mayor, his son and some supporters started punching and kicking the councillor while dragging him towards the police post. Police led by circle officer SK Singh reached the spot and took the councillor away from the place. CO SK Singh said that the councillor was admitted at a local hospital as the injuries he sustained were serious. Later, he was referred to CMI, Dehradun, sources said.
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