Chandigarh: The key witness in the Malerkotla Quran desecration case, Vijay Kumar has retracted from his previous statement in which he had accused MLA Naresh Yadav of the Aam Adami Party (AAP) of masterminding the desecration promising to pay Rs 1 crore.
Four months after the Quran desecration incident at Malerkotla, the main accused in the case, Delhi-based businessman Vijay Kumar, Thursday said he was innocent and that he was forced by the police to name AAP MLA Naresh Yadav in the case. Kumar made the statement in a Sangrur court, where he had come to attend the hearing. Yadav also said that he had been implicated in the case at the behest of the SAD-BJP government, particularly the Badal family.
Kumar had reportedly said to police in custody that AAP MLA Naresh Yadav had offered him Rs 1 crore for the desecration, but he had not received the amount. After the court hearing, Kumar told reporters, “I am innocent. I have proof to prove my innocence.” Asked why he had named Yadav, he said, “I was forced by the police to name him. I was told I will be implicated in cases of murder and attempt to murder if I didn’t name him.”
Sangrur SSP Pritpal Singh Thind told Daily Post on telephone that the statement recorded under section 164 of the IPC in front of a judge could not be retracted. The present stance of Vijay Kumar held no legal value.
AAP on Friday held a press conference here and criticised Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal for trying to create communal tension in the state. AAP state convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich said that Sukhbir must own the responsibility of pressurising police officer to falsely implicate AAP leader and Delhi MLA Naresh Yadav in Malerkotla Quran Sharif sacrilege case.
“This is not the first time that Sukhbir has misused his power to register false case. Even at the time of Bargari case two innocent Sikh youth were arrested on false charges of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib but later the youth had to be released finding no evidence against them,” Waraich said.
MLA Naresh Yadav said, “Being a law abiding citizen of this country, I have always cooperated with Punjab Police and am ready to go through any enquiry in future as well.”
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