Varun Gandhi booked for violence in Pilibhit (Second Lead)

March 29th, 2009 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), March 29 (IANS) Varun Gandhi and two other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were Sunday booked for the violence outside the jail here Saturday when the party candidate from Pilibhit was arrested. District authorities, meanwhile, said the BJP leaders had provoked party workers to indulge in violence.
Cases were filed against Varun Gandhi, senior leader Kalraj Mishra and former legislator B.K. Gupta in the Kotwali police station of Pilibhit, which is around 350 km from here.

“While Varun Gandhi has been booked under Section 144 (unlawful assembly), Mishra and Gupta have been booked under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code,” Superintendent of Police Prakash D. told reporters.

What came as a shock to the BJP was that Varun Gandhi was also charged for attempt to murder along with 13 of his supporters.

“Besides Section 144, Varun and his 13 supporters have also been booked under section 307 (attempt to murder), 331 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confusion), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act and also for destroying public property and rioting,” Pilibhit District Magistrate Ajay Chauhan told reporters.

These sections are part of the same FIR registered against Varun Gandhi in the Kotwali police station, he said.

Chauhan, in a report sent to the Uttar Pradesh government Sunday, said that the three leaders “provoked the workers who then took the law in their hands on their insistence,” a home department source told IANS.

The police action came in retaliation only to control the agitating mob, the report added.

A Pilibhit court sent Varun Gandhi to jail until Monday for allegedly making hate speeches amid clashes between party workers and the police Saturday. The court ruling came shortly after the BJP candidate from Pilibhit said he was “ready to go to jail” over the reported anti-Muslim speeches that he denies having made.

Hundreds of BJP supporters followed the police vehicle in which Varun Gandhi was driven away from the court. A few of them were seen clinging to the vehicle and climbing onto its bonnet, making it difficult for the policemen to drive.

The police then opened fire after lobbing tear gas shells and resorting to cane charge, injuring three people.

Varun Gandhi courted controversy after his speeches, that had derogatory references to Muslims, gained media attention. Gandhi maintains that the speeches, whose recorded copies were aired repeatedly on television, were doctored.

The Election Commission came down heavily on him and suggested that he should not be fielded as a candidate in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP refused to do that and questioned the Election Commission’s jurisdiction to suggest that.

On Friday, Varun Gandhi withdrew his bail application from the Delhi High Court and decided to surrender.

Due to security reasons, Varun Gandhi has been kept in a separate cell but besides homemade food, no additional facilities are being provided to him, Jail Superintendent Mukesh Arora told IANS Sunday.

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