Masood, who is the Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Saharanpur, was arrested earlier in the day for his hate speech in which he allegedly threatened to ‘chop’ Modi ‘into pieces’. Read more: Congress leader Imran Masood arrested for hate speech
The remarks went on to spark a huge outrage and the BJP strongly condemned the usage of such inflammatory language, which is in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
40-year old Masood, who was arrested in the wee hours by police from his residence here, said that he had done no wrong.
"It is all BJP's plotting. I don't have any remorse as I did no wrong. I will not apologise either to Narendra Modi or to the BJP," the Congress leader, who had expressed regret for his remarks earlier on Friday, told reporters.
Masood would be produced in a Deoband court later in the day.
A video footage of the election rally in Saharanpur, showing Masood attacking the BJP strongman, had gone viral on the web.
“We received a video footage of Masood. Based on its review, a case was registered in Deoband Police Station against him,” Saharanpur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Manoj Kumar said.
"Cases have been registered against him under Section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting religion or religious beliefs), Section 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC, Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of Representation of People Act, and Section 310 SC/ST Act," he added.
The SSP further said necessary probe is being carried out and legal proceedings will be held.
“If Modi tries to make Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat then we will chop him into tiny pieces. I am not scared of getting killed or attacking someone. I will fight against Modi. He thinks UP is Gujarat. Only four percent Muslims are there in Gujarat while there are 42 percent Muslims in UP,” Masood was seen as saying in the video.
Former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, however, defended Masood, saying his statement has no connection with the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“His statement is not about elections. Also newspaper reports say the statement is six months old. The person standing next to him (in the video) has also passed away. Now what was said in some other time, I don't know how certified it is,” Joshi said.
"It is a legal matter. What has been registered against him, what is the truth in it will be seen by the party high command which will decide the future course of action. I don't think any ticket will be changed now," she added.
Earlier on Friday, the Congress distanced itself from Masood’s remarks, saying it abjures violence whether of language or otherwise. On the other hand, the BJP called Masood’s remarks as inflammatory and dragged Congress president Sonia Gandhi into the controversy.
The BJP had sought strict action against Masood by the Election Commission for violation of the Model Code and asked the poll body to ensure the safety and security of all its leaders including Modi.
"BJP strongly condemns Imran Masood's statement. The language used is clearly promoting violence. We expect the Election Commission to take effective note of the remarks. The incident is important as Uttar Pradesh is going through a phase which is very communally sensitive,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.
"We are going to approach the Election Commission by lodging a formal complaint with it today. The Election Commission and the Centre should take serious note of this," he added.
Masood, who is the Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Saharanpur, was arrested earlier in the day for his hate speech in which he allegedly threatened to ‘chop’ Modi ‘into pieces’.
Read more: Congress leader Imran Masood arrested for hate speech