New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Dinesh Mohaniya was today arrested on charges of molestation and sexual harassment amidst high drama while he was addressing a press conference, triggering an angry reaction from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of declaring an “emergency” in Delhi.
Mohaniya, who is also the vice chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, was virtually dragged away from his seat by a police official when he was talking to reporters at his office in Khanpur in south Delhi, at around 12:10 pm.
“Mohaniya has been arrested under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 A (sexual harassment), 354 B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe) and 354 C (voyeurism),” said joint commissioner of police (south-east), R.P. Upadhyay.
Reacting to the arrest, Kejriwal said in a tweet, “Modi declares emergency in Delhi. Arresting, raiding, terrorising, filing false cases against all those whom Delhi elected (sic).”
In another tweet, he said, “Dinesh mohaniya arrested from his press conference in front of all TV cameras. What msg does Modi want to give to everyone? (sic)”
Mohaniya is the eighth AAP MLA to be arrested by Delhi police since the party came to power for the second time in Delhi in February 2015.
The MLA was booked on June 23 for allegedly misbehaving with a group of women, who approached him with a complaint regarding water crisis in their locality. An FIR under Sections 323, 506 and 509 was registered in south Delhi’s Neb Sarai police station.
The police added Sections 354 (assault or criminal force on woman), 354 A (making sexually coloured remarks), 354 (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe) and 354 C (any man who watches, or captures the image of a woman engaging in a private act) of the IPC after two of the complainants presented themselves before a magistrate yesterday and their statements were recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
In their statements, the women alleged that Mohaniya also molested them during the tussle on June 22 when they had gone to complain to him about water problems they faced.
In their complaint, they had earlier told the police that the MLA and his men had verbally abused them and threatened them.
Another case has been registered against Mohaniya at Govindpuri police station for allegedly slapping a 60-year-old man in Tughlaquabad area on June 25.