Irfan Solanki, the Samajwadi Party legislator at the heart of the doctors' strike controversy in Uttar Pradesh, was late on Thursday night booked for attempt to murder, rioting and voluntarily causing hurt for his alleged involvement in clashes with junior doctors in Kanpur last week.
The move came after Kanpur SSP Yashaswi Yadav was transferred to the DGP's office in Lucknow over the doctor's demand for action against him for alleged police atrocity.
The police booked Mr. Solanki, and his gunners and few unknown persons, on a complaint by Himanshu Singh, a junior doctor who was injured during the clashes last week. Mr. Singh was arrested after the incident and released on Thursday along with 23 others.
The doctors ended their strike on Thursday after the Allahabad High Court assured them of a time-bound probe into the incident in Kanpur.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the State to register FIR against the SP MLA or police personnel while ordering the UP DGP to personally monitor these cases. The Court also said that departmental inquiry shall be initiated against all police officers found guilty of atrocity. Acting on the High Court's instructions, the State constituted a judicial commission under Retd. Judge Justice R. M Chauhan to probe the incident and file a report within three weeks.
Reacting to the charges, the two-time Sisamau (Kanpur) MLA told The Hindu that his "innocence" would be proven by the judicial inquiry.
"I have full faith in the judicial inquiry. If intervening to save somebody from getting beaten up is equivalent to attempt to murder then I have nothing to say on that," he said.
Mr. Solanki, who is considered close to SP supremo Mulayam Singh, claimed that his "intervention" at the medical college in Kanpur on February 28 was to "prevent any incident of communal tension" in the City.
While the protesting doctors had alleged that Mr. Solanki used his influence to get them thrashed by the police, the MLA said the clash started when he objected to some junior doctors of GVSM College allegedly misbehaving with an elderly person near the college. Since the old man appeared to be Muslim he intervened to prevent any communal tension, he claims. Mr. Solanki, who is not new to controversy, was in 2011 arrested for allegedly misbehaving with a woman IAS officer of the state power department. In 2012, his supporters clashed with the police in Faridabad after his car was stopped for using tinted glass while recently he was among those MLAs from UP who faced flak for flying off to a foreign tour even as riot victims in Muaffarnagar reeled under the cold.