Congress Lok Sabha candidate Imran Masood was on Saturday sent to jail by a court for 14 days after he was arrested before dawn for his hate speech in which he allegedly threatened to “chop” Narendra Modi “into pieces“.
As the outburst by Mr. Masood against Mr. Modi sparked an outrage and led the BJP to took up the matter with the Election Commission, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi condemned the controversial remarks and distanced himself from it. Mr. Masood is contesting from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Mr. Masood, who was arrested before dawn by police from his residence in Saharanpur, was produced before Deoband Judicial Magistrate Archana Rani who rejected his bail plea and sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.
Mr. Gandhi went ahead with the Congress rally at Saharanpur as scheduled after it was initally stated that he has cancelled it in the wake of Mr. Masood’s arrest.
“Rahul Gandhi’s rally is being postponed. The next date for it will be decided later on,” CLP leader Pradeep Mathur said earlier in the day.
Mr. Gandhi gave vent to his anguish at his back-to-back rallies in Ghaziabad and Saharanpur and said he should not have used such words against the Opposition leader.
He said the words used do not reflect the ideology of the Congress. “Congress does not have such a thought process.”
“He should not have used such words against the Opposition leader. I want to tell the whole country that words he used against one of opposition leaders is not our ideology,” Mr. Gandhi said, without naming Mr. Masood while addressing a public meeting in Ghaziabad.
Mr. Gandhi also echoed the same sentiments at Saharanpur.
Mr. Masood said he has no remorse for making the remark even as the BJP filed an official complaint with the Election Commission against Congress for “repeatedly” violating the Model Code of Conduct.
“It is all BJP’s plot. I don’t have any remorse as I did no wrong. I will not apologise either to Narendra Modi or to the BJP,” Mr. Masood, who had on Friday expressed regret for his remarks, told reporters.
“I will go to jail 100 times,” he said, as he was being taken by police to a district prison.
SSP Saharanpur Manoj Kumar said, “We received a video footage of Masood. Based on its review a case was registered in Deoband Police Station against him.”
“Cases have been registered against him under section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting religion or religious beliefs), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC, Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of Representation of People Act, and 310 SC/ST Act,” he said.
Necessary probe is being carried out and legal proceedings will be held, Mr. Kumar said… see more