Congress leader arrested for criticizing Yogi government

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A day after his alleged tweet on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath riled up many who accused him of targeting the Hindu faith, Congress leader Pankaj Punia was arrested Wednesday from Haryana’s Karnal district.

Punia has held multiple positions in All India Congress Committee since 2003. In 2018, he was a nominated member of the AICC. In 2015, he had also remained Secretary, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee. In 2008, he remained vice president of HPCC.

In his tweet, now removed, Punia had criticized the UP government over the handling of migrant workers crisis. He wrote, “The Congress only wanted to help the migrant workers to reach their home and pay for them. But the government started engaging in politics. Such lowly acts are only done by saffron-clad sanghis”.

Although Punia removed the tweet and even clarified that it was not “targeting any religion”, he continued to retweet other such tweets that quoted his original tweet.

Haryana police’s action against Punia comes close on the heels of the ongoing tussle between the UP government and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vandra over the 1000 buses that the Congress party had arranged out of which some were awaiting permission at the UP-Delhi border in Ghaziabad to transport stranded migrant workers. The buses were denied permission and sent back.

Facing at least two FIRs on similar charges in Agra and Ghaziabad, the FIR was registered against Punia in Karnal late Wednesday evening on charges of “promoting enmity between communities, disturbing communal harmony and targeted harassment”.

The complainant in the current case, Vivek Lamba (a Karnal resident) lodged a complaint at police station – Madhuban demanding legal action against Punia.

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