Arrest Warrant Issued against Bhopal Congress MLA for 'Inflammatory' Speech during Anti-Macron Rally
File photo of Congress MLA Arif Masood.
A special court in Bhopal on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant against Congress MLA Arif Masood over an ‘inflammatory’ speech delivered recently to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s alleged remarks against Prophet Mohammed.
Masood, a legislator from Bhopal Madhya seat, had led a protest of over 2,000 people at Iqbal Maidan against Macron’s comments.
The MLA and several others were booked for violating guidelines in place in view of coronavirus pandemic during the gathering. Later, Masood was also booked for delivering a ‘provocative’ speech. Six of those booked in the case have been arrested, while Masood, who had been campaigning in Bihar during the Assembly polls, is yet to be put behind bars.
The Talaiya Police of Bhopal on Tuesday moved an application in the special court of Judge Pravendra Kumar Singh under sections 82 and 83, following which an arrest warrant against Masood was issued. A local court on November 8 had rejected an anticipatory bail plea moved by the Congress leader.
The Thana in-charge of Talaiya police, DP Singh, said Masood and his aides have two cases lodged against them at his police station. In one of the cases, Masood has secured bail but in the other one – for delivering an instigating speech -- a case been lodged under Section 153 of the IPC, a non-bailable section.
Masood’s lawyer had pleaded the two FIRs cannot be lodged in a single case.
The judge, while rejecting his bail plea, had observed the MLA had committed two offences, one by holding protest without permission from the collector and the other one was that of making provocative remarks that could create unrest between two communities.
Meanwhile, the MLA remains untraceable, according to officers of the state police.