Delhi police on Tuesday arrested BJP leader Ashwani Upadhyay and five others mostly associated with Hindutva outfits in connection with the hate-fuelled slogans raised at a rally organised by him not too far from Parliament.
The arrest followed outrage over the sloganeering, calling for the killing of Muslims, in the heart of the national capital on Sunday. The police had faced questions for not arresting those behind the event, including Upadhyay who is now a member of the Delhi BJP executive and a former spokesperson for the party’s Delhi unit.
“Six persons have been arrested in connection with the FIR related to provocative sloganeering at a programme and further investigation is in progress,” a Delhi police spokesperson said. Besides Upadhyay, the other arrested persons were Preet Singh, Deepak Singh, Deepak Kumar, Vinod Sharma and Vinit Bajpai.
“Upadhyay and Preet Singh, director of an outfit called the Save India Foundation, have been arrested as organisers of the event. The rest have been arrested for raising inflammatory slogans,” the police officer said.
According to him, Deepak Singh is the president of an outfit named the Hindu Force and Vinod Sharma is a member of the Sudarshan Vahini.
“Searches are underway to arrest Pinki Bhaiya (a member of the Hindu Raksha Dal) and an individual named Uttam Malik. They are also seen in videos shouting slogans,” the spokesperson added.
The police are yet to divulge the background of Deepak Kumar and Vinit Bajpai.
Sources said the six accused persons were detained late on Monday night and Upadhyay was brought to Connaught Place police station at 3am for questioning.
They have been charged under sections that attract a maximum punishment of three years in jail.
On Tuesday afternoon, supporters of Upadhyay gathered outside Connaught Place police station, shouted slogans protesting his arrest and tried in vain to barge in.
When the police blocked their entry, the protesters sat on a dharna outside the police station, blocking an arterial road. The police appealed to them to lift the dharna but they did not budge and were later detained.