Ahmedabad, Nov 4 (PTI) The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday alleged that the registration of a First Information Report against its MLA Chaitar Vasava by Gujarat police was a conspiracy hatched by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party which has an "anti-tribal mentality".
Dediapada police in Narmada district has registered an FIR against Vasava for allegedly threatening forest department officials and firing a round in the air earlier this week.
Markets in the tribal-dominated Dediapada town remained closed during the day in protest against the police action.
Vasava, who belongs to a tribal community, is AAP's legislative party leader in the Gujarat assembly.
The MLA remains absconding while the police has arrested his wife, personal assistant and one more person in the case. A court on Saturday sent the three in judicial custody.
The alleged incident took place at Vasava's residence at Dediapada on October 30.
In a post on X, AAP's national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed the BJP (government) filed a false case against Vasava.
"When AAP promoted the son of a tribal community, BJP could not tolerate it. The entire tribal community will seek account of this from the BJP. The BJP has launched this attack not on Chaitra Vasava but on the entire tribal community," he said.
Speaking to the media here, state AAP leader Isudan Gadhvi claimed the FIR was registered on the basis of a false complaint, and Vasava was being targeted because of his growing popularity.
It was part of a conspiracy hatched at the behest of BJP which suffers from "anti-tribal mentality," he alleged.
"BJP never allows schemes for the tribal community to be implemented. It has insulted the tribal community by calling them forest-dwellers. The BJP does not want any tribal leader to advance, and very few schemes for the development of the tribal community reach the people," he said.
"When Chaitarabhai raised his voice for the tribal community, the BJP implicated him in a false conspiracy," Gadhvi alleged.
Some locals had approached Vasava after the forest department personnel cut down cotton crop on land for which the farmers had ownership certificates under the Forest Rights Act, and the MLA tried to resolve the issue by holding a meeting of the affected farmers and the forest department employees, the AAP leader said.
The officials agreed to compensate the farmers for their loss on the condition that the farmers would not take any legal action against them, he said.
"Later, the forest department staff filed a complaint at Dediapada police station under pressure, as part of a conspiracy. The amount which was agreed to be paid as compensation was described as extortion money in the FIR," Gadhvi claimed.
The allegation that Vasava fired a round in the air was baseless as the cartridges from the revolver were not recovered by the police, he said. PTI KA KRK