Meerut, Sept 21 (PTI): Police on Saturday arrested Sangeet Som, the Bharatiya Janata Party member of the legislative assembly (MLA) accused of uploading a fake video that played a role in provoking communal tension in Muzaffarnagar and of making inflammatory speeches.
Deepak Kumar, senior superintendent of police, said Som was arrested from Salava village in his constituency Sardhana amid slogan-shouting by his supporters.
Though police said they had arrested Som, the supporters of the legislator claimed he had surrendered before Sardhana police.
Police has been put on alert in the town to deal with possible protests by BJP supporters.
Som's arrest comes a day after Uttar Pradesh Police took into custody BJP MLA Suresh Rana in Lucknow on charges of making provocative speech to incite riots in Muzaffarnagar.
On Wednesday, a court in Muzaffarnagar had issued arrest warrants against 16 politicians and community leaders including Som, Bahujan Samaj Party’s member of Parliament Qadir Rana, BJP state legislator Bhartendu Singh, the BSP’s Noor Saleem and Maulana Jameel, Congress leader Saeeduzaman and Bharatiya Kisan Union chief Naresh Tikait.
They are wanted for violating prohibitory orders and provoking communal tension by inflammatory speeches in different meetings (Mahapanchayats) in the district, police said.
High drama had unfolded in front of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday with BJP leaders and workers, led by Uma Bharati, protested against the possible arrest of party MLA Som.
Facing criticism over failure to arrest several MLAs despite warrants being issued against them by a court, the inspector general in charge of law and order, R K Vishwakarma, had said that the arrests were being “deliberately avoided” as the session of state Assembly was in progress.
The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas claimed 47 lives and displaced over 40,000 people.
The BJP has lashed out at the Samajwadi Party government alleging that its workers were being targeted and implicated in cases “without evidence”.
The party also called for a bandh in western UP districts on Sunday.