Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday arrested Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Suresh Rana for allegedly making hate speech in connection with Muzaffarnagar riots. Rana had been attending Uttar Pradesh Assembly session for the last few days even as police officials had been waiting outside the building to arrest political leaders accused of making inflammatory speeches.
The police arrested him from Samta Mulak Samaj Chowk in Lucknow after Rana came out of the Assembly building after the session got over at around 5 pm. He has been taken to the Gomti Nagar police station.
Uttar Pradesh Police Inspector General (Law And Order) Rajkumar Vishwakarma said that Rana was arrested when he was on his way from the BJP office to Gomati Nagar area of Lucknow in a car.
"I have not run away anywhere. I have done nothing illegal. I had come to surrender myself. They are treating me like a common criminal," said Rana after his arrest.
Arrest warrants were issued against 16 political leaders three days ago and Rana is the first one to be arrested.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy criticised the move to arrest Rana. "It's a reckless disregard of the Constitution and that is certainly discriminatory. I am against this, the moment you register a FIR, you should act on it. It's an act of cowardliness. It's a Muslim appeasement move," he said.
Earlier, BJP leader Uma Bharti had challenged the Samajwadi Party government saying that the state government should be ready to face the repercussions if any arrests were made without any investigations.
Arrest warrants were issued against several UP politicians including BJP MLAs Sangeet Som, Bhartentu Singh, Suresh Rana, Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait, BSP MP Kadir Rana, BSP MLAs Noor Saleen Rana, Jameel Ahmed, Congress leader and former Muzaffarnagar MP Saeed-ur-Zama, Samajwadi Party's Rasheed Siddiqui and 16 other people.