Her house set on fire; Congress workers stage protests
LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Rita Bahuguna Joshi was remanded to 14-day judicial custody and sent to jail on Thursday for making derogatory remarks against Chief Minister Mayawati.
Dr. Joshi, who was arrested late on Wednesday night in Ghaziabad district while on her way to Delhi, was produced at the residence of the Moradabad Chief Judicial Magistrate on Thursday. She was remanded and sent to the Moradabad jail.
Congress workers staged demonstrations and blocked roads in different parts of the State in protest against the action against Dr. Joshi as well as the arson at her house here.
Earlier in the day, an FIR was filed by the Moradabad police in the Majhola police station against her for making indecent references to Ms. Mayawati at a Mahila Congress meeting on Wednesday. She was booked under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between two groups on ground of religion or caste) and 509 (word or gesture aimed at outraging the modesty of a woman) of the IPC, the Scheduled Castes, Tribes (prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989 and Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
Dr. Joshi later expressed her regrets to the Chief Minister.
On Wednesday night, Dr. Joshi’s residence, located within walking distance from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, was torched by masked men, alleged to be BSP supporters. Five persons have been arrested in connection with the incident and the police registered a case against unnamed persons in the Hussainganj police station.
Distancing herself and her party from the arson at Dr. Joshi’s residence, Ms. Mayawati blamed the Congress for masterminding the incident “in a bid to divert the country’s attention from the indecent remarks made against her.” The remarks came at the behest of the Congress high command, she alleged.
At a press conference here, Ms. Mayawati accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of maintaining silence on the issue. She questioned Ms. Gandhi’s decision to make Dr. Joshi the PCC president, though she made derogatory references to the Gandhi family in a book on her father, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna.