The Delhi Police on Tuesday arrested BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay and five others in connection with the communal sloganeering near Jantar Mantar on Sunday. The arrests were made following hours of questioning on Monday.
Upadhyay was summoned by the police on Monday and was told to appear at the Connaught Place police station for questioning. Five others held along with the former BJP spokesperson include Deepak Singh, Vinod Sharma, Vinit Kranti, Deepak and Preet Singh.
The police crackdown comes after outrageous videos of communal sloganeering by a group during a protest at Jantar Mantar went viral on social media. The videos showed a fringe group raising slogans threatening Muslims at Jantar Mantar, which has lately emerged as the epicentre of protests in the national capital.
— Ashwini Upadhyay (@AshwiniUpadhyay) August 9, 2021
The arrests come amid the police being accused of inaction against Upadhyay, the organiser of the event and a member of the Delhi BJP executive.
Upadhyay had earlier written a letter to the Delhi Police Commissioner in which he denied any connection with others involved in the hate speech, and also urged for strict action against the accused.
“A video is now going viral on social media in which one person can be seen giving a hateful speech and some people are defaming me on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp despite the fact that I do not know or have never met the people seen in the video; I didn’t even invite these people to the event,” the BJP leader wrote in the letter.
He also tweeted a video on Monday asking the police to investigate the video and claiming that the accused were not at the protest site till he was present there. He further alleged that the viral videos were made to defame the Bharat Jodo Andolan. “If the video is fake, then surely it is an attempt to defame the movement and is a part of propaganda,” he said in the video.
In his statement, the BJP leader also denied any connection with Save India Foundation, which organised the march against outdated colonial laws. Preet Singh, the director of the organisation, is among those arrested by the police.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police has claimed that they had denied permission for the protest citing COVID precautions but the crowd showed up at Jantar Mantar.