Former AAP minister Rajendra Pal Gautam on Tuesday joined a police investigation in connection with a row over a religious conversion event that he attended on October 5, where Hindu deities were allegedly denounced. A senior police officer said he had joined the investigation at the Paharganj police station.
“I received the notice today (Tuesday) and will cooperate with the police," Gautam told PTI. “We are those who follow Babasaheb Ambedkar and the Indian Constitution," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Gautam recently resigned from the Delhi cabinet as social welfare minister following a controversy over his presence at a Buddhist event.
The notice came as police received several written complaints in connection with the programme at Ambedkar Bhawan. Police, in the notice, stated that certain words were uttered publicly, which have infuriated the public at large. The development comes a day after he was interrogated by police at his residence regarding his presence at the event.
“Written complaints have been received in this regard… During the enquiry, presence of your good self is very much essential to decide the further course of action as per law," the notice read. “Accordingly, you are here by requested/directed to appear in person with all documents at police station Pahar Ganj without fail, otherwise it will be presumed that you have nothing to say or explain anything on your part and matter would be decided as per law," it added.
He has been called for an inquiry in connection with an event that took place in Ambedkar Bhavan & for which a complaint was received. It’s a normal inquiry. Let’s see what comes out of it: Shweta Chauhan, DCP, Central dist, Delhi on notice to former Delhi Min Rajendra Pal Gautam pic.twitter.com/IGCWkjqyaV— ANI (@ANI) October 11, 2022
After being questioned by police on Monday, Gautam had told PTI, “They asked me about the nature of the programme and how it was organised… I follow the law and if I have committed any crime, you can register a case and arrest me. If I have not, you can interrogate me."
He added: “I will feed sweets to the complainant if I am arrested."
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GAUTAM RESIGNS AFTER CONTROVERSY
Gautam resigned from his post on Sunday after a controversy erupted over his presence at the religious conversion event. The BJP has used the issue to attack AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal during the election campaigning in Gujarat and accused him of being “anti-Hindu", Gautam had said after his resignation.
In a letter shared on Twitter, Gautam said he attended the event in his personal capacity and it had nothing to do with his party or the ministry. He lashed out at the BJP for targeting Kejriwal and AAP, alleging the saffron party was doing “dirty politics" on the issue.
Gautam, who was the minister for social welfare, SC and ST, registrar of cooperative societies and gurdwara elections, said he was resigning as minister as he did not want his leader or AAP to be in trouble because of him.
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