Imran Masood refuses to apologise to Narendra Modi; sent to judicial custody

A court rejected the bail plea of Congress Lok Sabha candidate Imran Masood and sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.

Zee Media Bureau

Saharanpur: A court on Saturday rejected the bail plea of Congress Lok Sabha candidate Imran Masood and sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.

Masood was, earlier today, arrested for his hate speech in which he allegedly threatened to "chop" BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi "into pieces", remarks that had sparked an outrage in political circles.

Masood, 40, who was arrested in the wee hours by police from his residence here, said he had done no wrong.

"It is all BJP`s plotting. I don`t have any remorse as I did no wrong. I will not apologise either to Narendra Modi or to the BJP," the Congress leader, who had yesterday expressed regret for his remarks, told reporters.

The Congress leader was produced before Deoband Judicial Magistrate Archana Rani amidst heavy security as his supporters created chaos outside the court.

Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who earlier cancelled his scheduled rally in Saharanpur in the wake of Masood`s arrest, has now decided to visit the constituency.

A high-level delegation of BJP met top poll officials and filed an official complaint with the EC today.

A video footage of the election rally in Saharanpur, showing Masood attacking Modi, had gone viral on the web on Thursday.

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, Kumar said.

The Congress candidate was seen in the video as saying that "If Modi tries to make Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat, then we will chop him into tiny pieces...I am not scared of getting killed or attacking someone. I will fight against Modi. He thinks UP is Gujarat. Only 4 percent Muslims are there in Gujarat while there are 42 percent Muslims in UP."

Defending Masood, Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, "His statement is not about elections....Also newspaper reports say the statement is six months old. The person standing next to him (in the video) has also passed away. Now what was said in some other time, I don`t know how certified it is.”
"It is a legal matter. What has been registered against him, what is the truth in it will be seen by the party high command which will decide the future course of action. I don`t think any ticket will be changed now," she said.

Congress had yesterday distanced itself from the remarks by Masood, saying it abjures violence whether of language or otherwise while BJP had condemned it as inflammatory and dragged Congress president Sonia Gandhi into the controversy.

The BJP had sought strict action against Masood by the Election Commission for violation of the Model Code and asked the poll body to ensure the safety and security of all its leaders including Modi.

"BJP strongly condemns Imran Masood`s statement. The language used is clearly promoting violence. We expect the Election Commission to take effective note of the remarks. The incident is important as Uttar Pradesh is going through a phase which is very communally sensitive,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi had said.

BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged political secularism is being converted into "Talibani secularism" and the kind of language used by Congress leaders is vitiating the atmosphere of elections.

(With Agency inputs)