Senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh on Thursday played hide-and-seek with a Bokaro police team constituted to execute a non-bailable arrest warrant against him and his lawyers filed an anticipatory bail petition in a Patna court, a day after he promised to surrender.
The Jharkhand police team, accompanied by some Bihar cops, raided Giriraj’s official residence 15 Kautilya Marg in Patna on Thursday morning after a Bokaro court on Wednesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him for his alleged inflammatory speech last week at Godda in Jharkhand. But the senior BJP leader gave them the slip.
Earlier, the Bokaro police team had gone to Giriraj’s Barahiya residence in Lakhisarai late Wednesday night but could not trace him.
Bokaro superintendent of police (SP) Jitendra Singh said the police had not been successful in arresting the warrantee (Singh) till Thursday evening.
“Our team has reached Bihar and the Bihar police are co-operating with it to execute the arrest warrant. The police had tried to arrest him today (Thursday) and last (Wednesday) night, but Singh evaded it. As of now, the police are searching for Giriraj. If he doesn’t surrender soon, the police will have to move to the second stage,” Singh said, hinting at approaching a court for the attachment of Giriraj’s property. Patna city SP Jayant Kant told The Telegraph the city policemen were cooperating with the Bokaro team. “The police here are giving them all possible help and support to the Bokaro team,” the SP said.
On if the Patna police would be praying for an arrest warrant against the former minister in connection with the FIR lodged at the Airport police station, sources said investigations were on.
While the Jharkhand cops were working overtime to trace Giriraj, his lawyers filed an anticipatory bail petition in the court of Patna district and sessions judge in connection with violation of Election Commission’s code of conduct. Giriraj got in touch with a section of the media from his hideout over telephone and said: “I had started for Bokaro on Thursday to surrender but when I learnt the court was closed for elections, I returned. The way the police are raiding my homes, it seems I am a terrorist. I am in touch with my lawyers and will surrender soon.”
So far, four cases have been lodged against Giriraj, the BJP’s candidate in the Nawada Lok Sabha constituency, in connection with his alleged inflammatory speech. Two FIRs have been lodged against him in Jharkhand, one at the Airport police station in Patna and a complaint case has been registered at the Muzaffarpur court. The non-bailable arrest warrant has been issued against him in connection with the FIR lodged at Bokaro in Jharkhand on April 21. Earlier, another FIR was lodged against him at Deoghar in the neighbouring state for his alleged controversial remark on April 18 that the Centre was giving subsidy to those exporting beef and taxing the people rearing cows.
On Wednesday, Bokaro sub-divisional judicial magistrate Amit Shekhar issued the non-bailable arrest warrant against Giriraj for his alleged statement that those opposing Narendra Modi should go to Pakistan.