New Delhi: The son of a former BSP MP was booked for whipping out a pistol and pointing it at a couple outside a five-star hotel in Delhi. The accused was identified as Ashish Pandey, brother of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Ritesh Pandey and son of former BSP MP Rakesh Pandey.
The incident took place on Saturday when Ashish got into an argument with a couple after the woman reportedly disproved of him walking into the ladies washroom.
The Delhi Police said an FIR has been lodged under the Arms Act and sections of the IPC, including those related to causing hurt (323), criminal intimidation (506) and using force with the intent to outrage the modesty of a woman (354).
The case was initially registered under the Arms Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were added later, police said.
"The police have registered a case. We are coordinating with the Uttar Pradesh Police and teams are looking out for him," Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Ajay Chaudhary told PTI.
"We have added the relevant sections based on the video. A Look Out Circular (LOC) has been opened up for him," he said.
The Delhi Police said they first received the complaint about the incident on Monday from the assistant security manager of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in RK Puram, where the scuffle took pace.
The Hyatt Regency in Delhi said that it was taking the incident “seriously" and would cooperate in the investigation.
A team of Delhi Police also arrived in Lucknow on Tuesday in to probe the incident. "The Delhi police team has arrived here in connection with investigations in the case and the UP police is extending full cooperation," DIG (law and order) Pravin Kumar said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) launched a scathing attack on the Central government, which the Delhi Police, over the incident. Party spokesperson Dilip Pandey questioned the BJP-led Centre for not having control over the system, which it supervises through the lieutenant governor (LG).
Commenting on the incident, BJP Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari said that a thorough investigation should be conducted and added that there is evidence in the form CCTV footage of the incident.
The BSP, however, distanced itself from the incident saying that Ashish Pandey is not a BSP leader or a member. “There is a law and order machinery and action should be taken against anyone who breaks law," party leader Sudhindra Bhadoria said.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in tweet said the police had initiated action in the case. "The Delhi Police has initiated action on this incident which is also being shown in the media. An FIR has been registered under the Arms Act and the IPC. Strong and appropriate action will be taken. Also verifying the identity of others," the minister tweeted.
One of the victims told a news channel that the accused, who was pointing the gun, approached him and started hurling abuses.
"A man with a gun hurled abuses at us and walked up threateningly. I was intimidated and scared. The hotel staff were present at the spot. They tried to intervene but could not as they were also scared," the victim claimed.
Ex-Congress MLA Kanwar Karan Singh said his son, who was shown a gun by Pandey, was in "trauma" after the incident and that was the reason why he did not inform the police.
Police said the security staff of the hotel told them that the accused and the victims were partying at a nightclub in the hotel.
The victim's female friend was throwing up in the women's washroom and he had gone to look for her which is when Pandey's women friends also came there and started arguing with them, the police said. They came out and the fighting continued, following which Pandey fetched the gun from his car and threatened the other party.
A woman, who was accompanying the accused hurled abuses at the victims and called them "transgenders", a senior officer said. It is suspected that both the parties involved were drunk at the time of the incident, he said.
"No PCR call was made by any of the parties or even the hotel authorities. It is negligence on part of the hotel as something major could have happened," another officer privy to the probe said.
Delhi Police added that a show-cause notice has been issued to Hyatt Hotel for alleged negligence in incident.
"No complaint was lodged by the victim and the hotel staff on the same day. There is negligence on the part of three parties - the victim, hotel authorities and the accused, Chaudhary said. The officer said after the video was circulated on social media, police contacted the hotel authorities and then they lodged the complaint.
Police said it will be ascertained if the accused was carrying a licensed weapon or not after he is caught.
(With inputs from PTI)