Former Punjab DGP Mohammad Mustafa has been booked for allegedly making communal remarks at a public meeting in Malerkotla, police here said on Sunday. Mustafa is the principal strategic advisor to state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The FIR came a day after a video showing him making the alleged remarks was circulated on social media.
”An FIR has been lodged under IPC Section 153-A and Section 125 in The Representation of the People Act,” Malerkotla Senior Superintendent of Police, Ravjot Kaur Grewal, told PTI over the phone.
The charges spell that Mustafa was booked for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race and other identity markers to score gains in election.
The FIR has been lodged on complaint of a police officer in Malerkotla. Mustafa is the husband of Punjab cabinet minister Razia Sultana who is the Congress candidate from Malerkotla assembly seat — a Muslim-majority district in Punjab.
The BJP had on Saturday accused the former Punjab IPS officer of making the controversial remarks against “Hindus” at a public meeting.
Mustafa has denied the charge and said he never used the “Hindu” word. He had only targeted the Aam Aadmi Party workers after some of them allegedly chased and tried to manhandle him, he said.
A video of Mustafa making the purported remarks was shared by BJP leaders Sambit Patra and Shazia Ilmi on their Twitter handles on Saturday. Mustafa said he had gone to an event of some Congress workers nearby and warned the AAP workers, who were also from the Muslim community.
He said he used the word ”fitno” (meaning mischief makers) for AAP workers belonging to the Muslim community and there was no question of warning Hindus. ”There was absolutely no Hindu-Muslim context to what happened in Malerkotla to which the quoted video clip relates. It was a verbal outburst unilaterally mischievously provoked by Jhaduwalas, all Muslims,” Mustafa said in a tweet.
In another tweet, he hit out at BJP, saying his “nationalist” credentials were superior than those from the party. ”Your intended branding will not work on Mustafa, as my nationalistic credentials are far superior to yours with a history of life long fight against enemies of India and destroyers of communal harmony in the state,” he wrote. Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha had also castigated Mustafa for his remarks and alleged that the Congress was trying to disturb the atmosphere in the state ahead of the state assembly polls.
The purported video clip was played by the BJP at a press conference on Saturday. ”I swear by Allah that I will not allow them to hold any event. I am a ‘kaumi fauji (soldier of community)’ I am not an RSS agent who will hide in the house out of fear.
”If they again try to do such a thing, I swear by Allah I will thrash them in their homes,” the video allegedly showed him saying at the meeting held on January 20.
BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh had also taken strong exception to Mustafa’s remarks and demanded that party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi clear their stand on the matter. Chugh accused Mustafa of trying to foment communal hatred in Punjab.