They want answers: Just why were two AOA members from River Heights arrested?
Welcome To CitySpidey


They want answers: Just why were two AOA members from River Heights arrested?

FedAOA has threatened to go on a candle march if the probe ordered by the district magistrate into the arrest is found unsatisfactory.

They want answers: Just why were two AOA members from River Heights arrested? Residents in front of the office of the city magistrate on December 27

Residents of River Heights, a residential society in Rajnagar Extension, Ghaziabad, are up in arms about the arrest of two AOA members. The matter has escalated, as FedAOA has threatened to go on a candle march if it is unsatisfied with the district administration's inquiry into it.

Pramod Dhanked, who held the post of the AOA president, and Sanjay Sharma, who was the vice-president, were arrested on December 26 and sent to a 14-day judicial custody by the city magistrate.

The Deputy Registrar, Meerut, had prohibited resident body elections in the society. The arrest came after the AOA, whose term had ended in September, allegedly announced elections after that. The duo was arrested on apprehension of breach of peace under sections 151 and 107/116 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Both Dhanked and Sharma were released on bail on the same day, but resident bodies have expressed anger at the conduct of the police and the administration, and the way the entire matter was handled.

The deputy registrar had issued a letter to the resident body saying that it came under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. According to the rules of this Act, the election of a new association should be concluded before the term of the old association ends. In River Heights, the term of the current RWA ended on September 30, 2016. The AOA members were supposed to respond to the queries of the deputy registrar by January 5, 2017. The queries were regarding a complaint lodged by Subodh Tyagi, a resident and head of the opposing faction in the society, about the move to conduct elections.

According to Tyagi, the resident body cannot conduct elections as per the UP Apartment Act, 2010, because the model by-laws of the society were not approved by the deputy registrar. “This is why I requested the deputy registrar to intervene," he added.



Dhanked told City Spidey, “We were treated like petty criminals and arrested the moment we went to the police station to furnish surety bond documents of Rs 5 lakh each. From the way the police behaved, it seemed that the entire episode was pre-planned at the request of the opposing faction. We have CCTV footage showing policemen in cahoots with them on December 25, when the police kept vigil in the society.”

The two members said that they had also called up senior police officials for help after their arrest. They alleged that some of the officials and staff involved delayed proceedings, due to which they could not furnish the bail documents and had to go to jail.

The behaviour of the police and district administration has drawn sharp criticism from residents, various federations and apex bodies of AOA and RWAs in Ghaziabad.

On December 27, residents staged a protest in front of the office of the city magistrate. A group of residents on December 28 met the district magistrate and handed over a memorandum to be submitted to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, questioning the manner in which the two AOA members were arrested.

Nidhi Kesarwani, the district magistrate of Ghaziabad, ordered an inquiry into the matter but claimed that the police was right in its conduct as it feared that the election could disrupt peace at a time when Section 144 had been imposed on the district.

Meanwhile, Alok Kumar, founder of FedAOA Ghaziabad, said, “The action by the police was unexpected and shameful. Both the police and the administration were wrong at many points. Section 144 cannot be linked to the election, as it was taking place in a private gated society.”

"If we are not satisfied with the investigation promised by the district administration, we will conduct protests and may also initiate legal action," Kumar added.

VK Sharma, chairman of the RWA Federation Ghaziabad, said that the entire episode seemed staged. "The DM has assured us of a proper investigation in the matter. We are hopeful of a proper outcome," he added.