A Delhi court on Tuesday, 10 August, sent former BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay and three others to two-day judicial custody in connection with the incident of incendiary sloganeering near Jantar Mantar two days back, news agency ANI reported.
Two other accused, Vineet and Deepak Singh, have been remanded to one-day police custody.
The Delhi Police had sought three-day custody of Vineet and Deepak Singh, and 14-day judicial custody of the four others. All six had been arrested earlier on Tuesday for questioning in connection with the case.
Delhi Police sources had earlier confirmed to The Quint that Vinod Sharma, Vineet Kranti, Ashwini Upadhyay, and Preet Singh had been detained on Monday night by the New Delhi District, Delhi Police, while two men, both named Deepak, had been detained at the Crime Branch.
The gathering in question – a march against colonial laws, had been called by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay. The rally had reportedly been organised without prior permission from the Delhi Police.
Of those arrested, Vinod Sharma heads a religious outfit named Sudarshan Vahini, while Deepak Singh Hindu is the president of another, called the Hindu Force, The Indian Express reported.
On Monday, the Delhi Police had indicated that Upadhyay and others allegedly involved in the incident would be arrested, and that such matters of communal disharmony would not be tolerated, ANI reported.
Earlier on the same day, the police had filed an FIR against unknown persons under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as under the DDMA Act concerned with the contravention of COVID-19 protocol, as per a report by The Indian Express.
Why Was the Gathering Called?
The gathering was reportedly called as an initiative under the 'Bharat Jodo Movement' – that had been endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a recent episode of Mann Ki Baat.
Rallying against colonial-era laws, the attendees had collected to march in support of the Uniform Civil Code, media-in-charge of the movement, Shilpa Srivastava, had told The Indian Express.
What Had Happened at the Gathering?
Purported videos of the gathering, at which hundreds were in attendance, were widely circulated on social media. The videos showed a crowd of people shouting inflammatory, violence-inciting slogans in unison.
The 'Bharat Jodo Andolan' media spokesperson denied any knowledge of provocative sloganeering at the event.
“There was no such (inflammatory) slogan in my knowledge… there were 5,000 people and if five-six people in some corner would be shouting such slogans, then we disassociate ourselves from them,” Srivastava had told The Indian Express.
What Ashwini Upadhyay Had Said
Ex-BJP spokesperson and Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Upadhyay denied knowledge of anti-Muslim sloganeering at his event, claiming that the incident in question happened after his rally had ended.
"The rally was from 10 to 12 pm. Whereas the sloganeering happened around 5 pm. Our rally was outside Park Hotel but the slogans were given near Parliament House police station. I do not know who they were," the BJP leader had told Bar & Bench.
"I have never met nor seen the people in the videos," he asserted in a tweet.
(With inputs from ANI and The Indian Express)