BJP MP from Saharanpur, Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma, who was recently accused of leading a mob and attacking the house of the SSP Love Kumar, has refused to apologise.
Speaking to NDTV, the unrepentant MP said, “Apologise for what? For standing with people when they were attacked? For questioning the administration when they were not performing? The administration should apologise.”
Sharma, who was part of a violent rally in Janakpuri area on Ambedkar Jayanti, said that the situation that day was close to something seen in Kashmir.
Several people, including Sharma and SSP Love Kumar, were injured in brick-batting between members of two communities on Thursday following an argument over the rally passing through communally sensitive Janakpuri area.
Later, the BJP MP and his supporters had protested outside the residence of the SSP, allegedly damaged a CCTV camera and removed his nameplate.
Two FIRs have been registered against 12 persons and over 300 unnamed people in connection with two incidents of violence in Saharanpur, police said. Both FIRs mention the local BJP MP, who is accused of inciting the mob to attack the residence of the seniormost police officer in the town.
Times of India had reported that Sharma had led a mob to the SSP’s residence and incited them to vandalise the place, scaring the police officer’s children and relatives who were inside the house at the time.
Asked if he had permission for the rally, the BJP MP said, “Getting a nod is not my job. It’s the duty of the people who were organising it. They had put papers for permission before the local administration, but it decided against it at the last moment.”
He alleged that police ran away from the scene “in front of my own eyes when violence erupted.
“They left villagers and everyone else without security. They were not even prepared to handle the miscreants who were throwing stones, acid, hurling bricks and bombs … They were firing in the air.”
“The administration needs to apologise for leaving people at the mercy of hoodlums,” he said.
On SSP Kumar saying that the MP and his supporters indulged in violence outside his residence, Sharma said it is the duty of an MP to visit the SSP’s camp office in case the law and order breaks down.
“The camp office is on the SSP’s residential premises and no one went near his house. The SSP has in a letter to me said the media reports about his wife and children being terrified are wrong,” he claimed.
Sharma said the situation on Thursday was “close to something that we see in Kashmir. The SSP, the DIG, the commissioner, the DM were there and they ran away in front of my eyes.
“Am I not to ask questions as to why they left innocent people at the mercy of these killers, at the mercy of these goons?”
He said the district administration is in such a bad state that it is unable to ensure the safety of people. The administration needs to apologize for not being able to protect them.
“We have leftovers from the last government still clinging on … I have apprised the government of the situation and the officers need to be removed,” Sharma said.
More than 300 people were booked for indulging in violence on Thursday of which ten have been arrested.
The two FIRs registered in connection with the incidents mentioned the BJP MP was present on both spots.
(With additional inputs from PTI)