BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga on Sunday (May 8) said “law still works in this country” after his arrest was stayed till May 10 by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a late night hearing on Saturday.
In a reprieve for Delhi BJP spokesperson Bagga, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed that no coercive step be taken against him after he sought a stay on the arrest warrant issued by a Mohali court.
Also read: Delhi BJP stages protest over Bagga arrest
Hours after the Mohali court issued the arrest warrant in connection with a case registered against him by the Punjab Police last month, Bagga moved the high court challenging it.
Justice Anoop Chitkara took up Bagga’s petition in an urgent hearing at his residence just before midnight.
“No coercive steps till May 10,” said Bagga’s counsel Chetan Mittal on the high court order.
Notably, on May 10, the high court is to take up Bagga’s petition, seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him last month. Mittal said that the court stayed the arrest warrant.
The hearing took place for around 45 minutes, said Mittal.
After his arrest was stayed, Bagga thanked the Punjab and Haryana High Court and also the Minority Commission. He also said that he was not allowed to wear his turban when Punjab Police arrested him from his house on Friday.
“I thank the Punjab and Haryana High Court along with the Minority Commission who showed yesterday that law still works in this country. The Minority Committee sent a notice to the Punjab government for not letting me wear my turban. In Sikhs, we can’t go out without a turban,” Bagga said.
Bagga’s father Preetpal Singh Bagga said, “We are happy that Punjab-Haryana HC directed not to take coercive action against Tajinder. Arvind Kejriwal is scared of him as he’s exposing his wrongdoings. He also tried to persuade Tajinder to join AAP but he didn’t join.”
Earlier, Bagga’s father had alleged that Punjab Police “punched” him and took away his mobile phone.
“Rules were not followed. They did not let him even wear his turban or put a cloth on his head. Tajinder requested them to allow him to wear turban but they didn’t let him. They snatched my mobile, punched me as well. I have filed a complaint against them. I will see the Punjab police in court. Our next step is that I challenge Kejriwal that now Tajinder’s father will also open a front against you,” Bagga senior had said on Friday.
On Saturday, the court of Judicial Magistrate Ravtesh Inderjit Singh issued the arrest warrant against Bagga in connection with a case registered last month.
The Punjab Police had booked Bagga on the charges of making provocative statements, promoting enmity and criminal intimidation. The case was registered on a complaint of 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 the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Bagga was booked under relevant sections, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place etc), 505 (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report) and 506 (criminal intimidation), of the Indian Penal Code.
After he was arrested in Delhi on Friday, Punjab Police was stopped in Haryana while Bagga was being taken to Punjab and brought back to the national capital by Delhi Police hours later.
Reacting to Bagga’s arrest involving three state police forces, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said this was bound to happen if police “serve” their respective “political masters”.
“This was bound to happen some day. Punjab, Delhi and Haryana police confrontation is an example of what lies in store in the future. Police serving their respective political masters will lead to the ultimate breakdown of federalism that is already in peril,” he tweeted.
This was bound to happen some day. Punjab, Delhi and Haryana police confrontation is an example of what lies in store in the future
Police serving their respective political masters will lead to the ultimate breakdown of federalism that is already in peril
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 7, 2022
Bagga’s arrest resulted in the BJP hitting out at the AAP, which has governments in Delhi and Punjab.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said a complaint has been lodged at the Janakpuri police station in the national capital over the Punjab police allegedly beating Bagga’s father.
Commission has mentioned that it’s a serious case of violation of religious rights of a Sikh Person. pic.twitter.com/2LLwK6tByu
— Adesh Gupta (@adeshguptabjp) May 7, 2022
(With inputs from Agencies)