Temple vandalism: BJP says AAP MLA part of mob, he files police complaint

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Temple vandalism: BJP says AAP MLA part of mob, he files police complaint
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The temple had been vandalised Sunday night after an argument over parking took a communal turn.  (Express photo: Tashi Tobgyal/File)

The flashpoint in Old Delhi over the vandalism of a temple took a political turn Wednesday as BJP leaders alleged Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain was part of the violent “mob” in Hauz Qazi on Sunday night, and the Ballimaran MLA hit back by filing a police complaint against BJP MP Vijay Goel, BJP-SAD MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa and a news website.

Hussain also claimed he had gone to the area Sunday night after the SHO called him. “I reached around 11.30 pm and appealed to people from both sides to calm down,” Hussain told reporters. DCP (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa, however, denied Hussain’s claim, saying: “Neither I nor the area SHO had called Imran Hussain to the spot. He came of his own accord.”

AAP leaders, however, said they have proof to back Hussain’s claim.

A purported video of Hussain in Hauz Qazi was shared on social media and played on some news channels through Wednesday. Goel, Sirsa and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, meanwhile, alleged Hussain was part of the mob, and sought his resignation.

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Police personnel deployed at Lal Kuan, Tuesday. (Express photo: Tashi Tobgyal/File)

“This is highly condemnable, Arvind Kejriwal, your own Minister is part of the mob. Delhi BJP demands immediate arrest of Imran Hussain MLA from Ballimaran,” Manoj Tiwari wrote on Twitter.

Speaking to The Indian Express, he said: “Old Delhi has been a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity, but due to AAP’s appeasement and vote bank politics, the situation deteriorated. Him (Hussain) registering an FIR against Goel shows his intention to politicise the issue.”

He also asked why Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was “silent on this issue”.

Sirsa, in a tweet, alleged that AAP was playing divisive communal politics and demanded Hussain’s and Kejriwal’s resignation.

Earlier in the day, Goel also demanded action against Hussain for his alleged “role” in the vandalism.

Read | Parking row sparks communal flare-up, alert across Old Delhi

“The involvement of Imran Hussain raises several questions as the CM has also chosen to remain silent on the entire episode. This is not the first time the Kejriwal government and AAP leaders are indulging in the politics of appeasement for their vested interests,” Goel said.

In his police complaint against Goel, Sirsa and a news website, Hussain alleged they had circulated false rumours about him. Quoting tweets by the BJP leaders, he said in the complaint: “The publication on Twitter which has been widely circulated by Sirsa with the intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community… This statement is illegal and intends to provoke the offence of rioting.”

He further demanded that a case under the IT Act be registered. The temple had been vandalised Sunday night after an argument over parking took a communal turn.

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