Gujarat AAP chief Gopal Italia detained after appearing before NCW, claims it wasn’t him in video

Arvidn Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia slam Delhi Police, NCW move

October 13, 2022 05:53 pm | Updated 06:01 pm IST - New Delhi

Gujarat AAP President Gopal Italia being detained by the Delhi Police from National Commission of Women’s office for allegedly using derogatory language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on October 13, 2022.

Gujarat AAP President Gopal Italia being detained by the Delhi Police from National Commission of Women’s office for allegedly using derogatory language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on October 13, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)‘s Gujarat unit chief Gopal Italia was on Thursday detained by the Delhi Police after he appeared before the National Commission for Women (NCW) for his alleged comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid protests by party members outside the women’s panel’s office in New Delhi.

Reacting to police action against the AAP leader, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Mr. Italia's detention had triggered massive anger in the Patel community across Gujarat.

Also read | AAP pitches itself in Gujarat as ‘party with a difference’

Taking to Twitter, the AAP national convenor also asked why "entire BJP" was after Italia.

Mr. Kejriwal's deputy Manish Sisodia termed Mr. Italia's detention as "BJP politics" and alleged that he had been detained because he belonged to a party that knew how to transform schools.

NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma had summoned Mr. Italia for using "abusive and indecent language" against PM Modi and said his comment was "gender biased, misogynist and condemnable".

Italia started speaking in Gujarati in the middle of hearing: NCW official

She told reporters after the hearing that Mr. Italia had claimed that he was not the person in the video in a verbal statement. However, in his written response, he said he did not mean it.

An NCW official said the commission had to rush to arrange a translator to record Mr. Italia's statement as he started speaking in Gujarati in the middle of the hearing.

After the hearing, the police detained Mr. Italia, drawing flak from the AAP.

Also read | PM Modi senses ‘silent’ poll campaign by Congress in Gujarat, sounds out BJP cadres

"With the arrest of Gopal Italia, there is massive anger in the Patel community across Gujarat," Mr. Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.

"Why is the entire BJP after Gopal Italia?" he asked in another post on the micro-blogging site.

While NCW officials said the AAP's Gujarat chief was detained for "creating a situation that disrupted law and order in the area", a senior Delhi Police officer, while confirming his detention, did not divulge further details.

AAP supporters try to enter NCW building, says NCW official

During the hearing, the AAP supporters protesting outside tried to enter the NCW building and police had to be called to restrain them, an official of the women's rights body said.

"As of now, he has been detained," a senior police officer said.

"Those who are detaining Gopal Italia have only that much understanding of politics. They don't know how to improve (standards of) schools, teach students.

"They couldn't make even one amazing school while being in government for the last 27 years," Mr. Sisodia said when asked for comment on Italia's detention.

Also read | Many BJP cadres in Gujarat secretly support AAP and want to see their party’s defeat, claims Kejriwal

"They arrested Gopal Italia because he comes from a party that knows reforming schools, arrest is nothing but politics," he charged.

BJP, AAP trade charges

The BJP's IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya had on Sunday shared a video on Twitter where Mr. Italia could be heard calling PM Modi a "neech aadmi" (lowly person) following which the NCW took cognisance.

"An indecent word for the Prime Minister is also an insult to the women of our country. The abusive language used by you is gender biased, misogynistic and extremely shameful, condemnable and unbecoming of you," the NCW had said in its summons issued on October 9.

The AAP on Monday defended its Gujarat unit chief over his alleged remarks and hit back at the BJP, saying it was using an old video to target Italia now as he hailed from a poor family and belonged to the Patidaar community.

Launching a counter attack, the AAP also shared a purported video of BJP MP Parvesh Verma in which he could be heard using certain derogatory words against Mr. Kejriwal and demanded that the saffron party either clarify its stand on the remarks or take action against him.

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