Court remands HP Cong leader Neeraj Bharti to 4-day police custody in sedition case

Shimla, Jun 27 (PTI) A court here on Saturday remanded former Congress MLA Neeraj Bharti, who was arrested for allegedly posting 'anti-national and objectionable materials' on social media regarding the India-China border standoff in Ladakh, to four-day police custody.

He was arrested on Friday on charges of sedition, among others.

Bharti was produced before the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) court, Shimla, which remanded him to police custody till June 30.

The former legislator from Jawali in Kangra district was arrested in connection with an FIR registered against him under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Crime Branch police station, CID Shimla on June 20.

Bharti, a former chief parliamentary secretary (CPS), was summoned to the police station for questioning, Himachal Pradesh Police spokesperson Khushhal Sharma said on Friday.

He said Bharti was quizzed for three days from June 24 to 26 on various aspects relating to the case. Subsequently, he was arrested in the case for investigation purposes.

The FIR was lodged on the basis of a complaint from lawyer Narendra Guleria.

In his complaint to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state police, Guleria alleged that messages posted by Bharti on social media were an attempt to spread hatred and disrespect the government.

Two years ago, the Congress leader was booked for allegedly making derogatory remarks on Facebook against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pratibha Bali, a police official said. PTI DJI DIV DIV