The Gujarat Police on Tuesday arrested Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s state unit president Gopal Italia in connection with a case of hurting religious sentiments in a speech he made in the run-up to the recently-concluded Gujarat elections. He was, however, granted bail soon after.
Bhavnagar superintendent of police (SP) Ravindra Patel said that he was arrested by Umrala police in Bhavnagar district in connection with a case registered over his speech at an election meeting made in Dwarka on September 2, and was booked for ‘hurting religious sentiments’, reported The Indian Express.
A case was registered against the state AAP chief under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 295-A for deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 298 (uttering, words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person).
The SP said that the FIR against him under IPC Section 295-A was registered before the election. Umrala police summoned him on Tuesday, and he was formally arrested at the Umrala police state, the SP added.
Umrala police summoned him today, and he was formally arrested at the Umrala police state, the SP added.
Patel said that since the offence is bailable, he was given bail and released afterwards.
The FIR was registered at the Umrala police station on September 4 based on the complaint by one Amit Dangar.
“At the public meeting in Dwarka on September 2, Gopal Italia said Arvind Kejriwal has come like Arjuna to rescue from Lord Krishna and BJP’s demons. By comparing Lord Krishna with demons, (he) has insulted Lord Krishna. This irresponsible statement has hurt sentiments of Hindus at large,” the FIR quotes Dangar as having stated in his complaint. He added that Italia’s remarks hurt religious sentiment of the Ahir community to which Dangar belongs, reports IE.
However, Italia refuted the allegations, and said that it was “totally fabricated”.
Meanwhile, Italia targetted the ruling BJP following his arrest. Taking to Twitter later in the day, Italia said that his grandmother passed away yesterday, and his entire family is grieving, yet the BJP arrested him.
The BJP won a historic majority in the December elections clinching 156 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. The new player AAP could win only five seats, and Italia, who contested from Katargam seat in Surat city, was defeated.