1 Arrest, 3 States & A Fresh Flashpoint Between BJP, AAP Over Delhi Leader Tajinder Bagga

BJP leader Tajinder Bagga being taken by Punjab Police from his Delhi residence on Friday. (Screengrab)

Last month, the Punjab Police filed charges against Bagga for making provocative statements, promoting enmity and criminal intimidation

The arrest of BJP leader Tajinder Bagga by Punjab Police from his Delhi residence on Friday morning has escalated into a tug-of-war revolving around police forces of three states and a war of words between the saffron party and the AAP, which is ruling the border state.

Videos showed the Delhi BJP spokesperson being taken from his home in connection with a case registered against him in Mohali last month. According to BJP’s Naveen Kumar Jindal, 50 cops barged into Bagga’s home at around 8.30am and arrested him. “He couldn’t even wear his turban,” he said.

Bagga’s father, too, claimed he was punched in the face when he attempted to capture the incident on video. Talking to news agency ANI, he said, “This morning, 10-15 police personnel came to our home and dragged Tajinder out. When I picked up my mobile phone to record a video of the incident, police took me to another room and punched me in the face.”

Here are top 10 points on the political crisis as it unfolds:

  1. Last month, the Punjab Police filed charges against Bagga for making provocative statements, promoting enmity and criminal intimidation. The case was registered on a complaint by AAP leader Sunny Ahluwalia, a resident of Mohali. The FIR registered on April 1 referred to Bagga’s remarks on March 30, when he was part of a BJP youth wing protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence over the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’.
  2. On Friday, as the situation snowballed into a war of words between the AAP and the BJP, the Delhi Police registered a case of kidnapping based on a complaint by Bagga’s father that some people came to his house in Delhi’s Janakpuri around 8 am and took away his son.
  3. There was a twist to the tale when the Punjab Police team taking Bagga to Mohali was stopped en route by Haryana cops. Haryana Police surrounded the Punjab Police vehicle and escorted them off the highway to a police station in Kurukshetra. A team of Delhi police has also reached there.
  4. Punjab police have sent a letter to Haryana’s top cop clarifying that it’s not a kidnapping case and that the Haryana police are stopping them needlessly.
  5. Delhi police claimed they were not given any prior information regarding the arrest. Punjab police have, however, refuted the allegation saying prior intimation was given and one of their teams has been at the Janakpuri police station since Thursday evening.
  6. Aam Aadmi Party leaders have defended the arrest, saying the Punjab police are acting in an unbiased way and the action was taken after Bagga refused to cooperate with the investigation even after notices were sent five times.
  7. Bagga has been a fierce critic of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, and had recently filed a case against Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann in April for ‘entering a Gurudwara’ in an ‘inebriated condition’.
  8. Amid the political row, a tweet of Delhi AAP spokesperson Ghanendra Bhardwaj ‘threatening’ Kapil Mishra has gone viral. As Kapil Mishra tweeted, “Why so much fear of a true Sardar?’ Bhardwaj said: “Mishra Ji, you too spew a lot of venom. Mend your ways soon. Otherwise, your number may come next.”
  9. Last month, former AAP leader Kumar Vishwas and Congress leader Alka Lamba too were named in police cases over “inflammatory statements” against Arvind Kejriwal.
  10. The Aam Aadmi Party formed a government in Punjab after winning a handsome mandate in the February-March round of state elections.

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