Former Congress MLA Neeraj Bharti was arrested by the Himachal Pradesh Police on charges of sedition on Friday. Bharti who is an ex-MLA from Jawali and is also a former Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) was booked for his questionable social media posts over the Galwan valley face-off where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.
He was called in by the CID wing of Himachal police for questioning between June 24-26 after a case was registered against him for the three posts he put out on Facebook regarding the India and China-LAC standoff. By the end of his questioning, the former Congress MLA was detained by the police for further investigation. He will be produced before the chief judicial magistrate's (CJM) court on Saturday.
The case was filed against him by an advocate on June 20 and the police registered his offence under sections 1124A (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).
20 Indian Army soldiers including a Commanding Officer were martyred when a violent faceoff took place on June 15 when the de-escalation process was underway in the Galwan Valley. As per the Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese newspaper Global Times, the Chinese side also suffered casualties during the physical clash. On June 18, the Indian Army revealed that a total of 76 personnel had been injured out of which 18 admitted to the Leh hospital can resume duty in about 15 days. As per the Army, the remaining 58 soldiers should be back on duty within a week's time.
At the 15th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) on Wednesday, India stressed that both sides must strictly respect the LAC. Recalling the previous week's conversation between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, both sides reaffirmed that the understanding on disengagement and de-escalation that was reached by senior Commanders on June 6 should be implemented. The delegations from India and China agreed that the expeditious implementation of this understanding would help ensure peace in border areas and develop the broader relationship between the two countries.