Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested but was admitted in a hospital in Meerut after he was taken ill. Priyanka Gandhi, General Secretary of Congress visited the hospital to see him.
SAHARANPUR — Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has been charged with assaulting public servants and defying their orders besides rioting along with his supporters in their bid to take out a political rally, police said Wednesday.
Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested Tuesday at Deoband in Saharanpur but had to be admitted in a hospital in Meerut after he was taken ill, police said, reports PTI.
In a clear snub to Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Wednesday met him at the hospital.
The FIR registered at the Deoband police station against Chandrashekhar Azad has also named his 27 supporters, besides over 150 other unknown persons, Saharanpur Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar said.
The FIR has been registered under sections 147 (rioting), 188 (defying public servants’ orders), 171F (causing undue influence in an election), 341 (causing wrongful restraint) and 353 (assaulting public servants) under the Indian Penal Code, he said.
Chandrashekhar Azad and his supporters were also charged with violating the model code of conduct in force since the announcement of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections schedule on Sunday, he said.
Mr Kumar said Deoband police station in-charge along with sub-divisional magistrate and circle officer asked Chandrashekhar Azad and his supporters not to take out the procession as the model code of conduct was in force.
But Chandrashekhar Azad and his supporters ignored the instructions and sought to violate them forcibly, following which the police had to take action, he said.
The SSP said the police are in possession of the video recordings of the people obstructing the traffic and breaching the law. The police also have the registration numbers of motorcycles and other vehicles, whose owners would be proceeded against, he said.
The unscheduled visit of Priyanka Gandhi is being seen in political circles as an attempt to woo the Dalits in Uttar Pradesh and pit Azad against the BSP.
No political motive
Priyanka Gandhi, however, said no political motive should be imputed to her meeting with Azad.
“He is fighting for a cause. I like his struggle and no politics should be seen in the meeting,” the Congress general secretary told media persons waiting anxiously outside the Meerut hospital.
“It (the meeting) should be seen with the viewpoint that he (Azad) is a youth and is struggling and raising his voice, telling the society to listen to his problem, but this government is so egoistic that it is gagging the voice of youth. It does not want to listen to the youth…they did not give employment to them and when the voice is being raised, it should be allowed,” she said.
The Bhim Army chief, talking to media after Priyanka Gandhi left the hospital, maintained that he did not talk about politics with the Congress leader during their meeting.
“I got to know about it (Priyanka’s visit) from the media. She had come to enquire about my well being. I am not a political person…I am struggling for the ‘bahujan samaj‘. She had not come to talk about politics nor did she ask me anything political,” he said.
(With inputs from media)