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Rahul Gandhi cancels Saharanpur rally after Imran Masood's arrest

New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi cancelled his scheduled rally in Saharanpur today in the wake of party candidate Imran Masood's arrest for his controversial remark against Narendra Modi.

"Rahul Gandhi's rally is being postponed. The next date for it will be decided later on," CLP leader Pradeep Mathur said. The decision to cancel the rally comes after Masood was arrested by police for allegedly threatening to chop BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Modi "into pieces".

Rahul Gandhi

A video footage of the election rally in Saharanpur, showing Masood attacking the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, had gone viral on the web. The Congress candidate was seen in the video as saying that "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 4 per cent Muslims are there in Gujarat while there are 42 per cent Muslims in UP."

Congress had distanced itself from Masood's remark, saying it abjures violence whether of language or otherwise while BJP condemned it as inflammatory and dragged Congress President Sonia Gandhi into the controversy. The BJP also demanded strict action against Masood by the Election Commission.

Masood, 40, who was arrested in the wee hours by police from his residence here, said 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 yesterday expressed regret for his remarks, told reporters.

Imran Masood
Imran Masood

SSP Saharanpur Manoj Kumar said, "We received a video footage of Masood. Based on its review a case was registered in Deoband Police Station against him". "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), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC, Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of Representation of People Act, and 310 SC/ST Act," he said.

Necessary probe is being carried out and legal proceedings will be held, Kumar added.

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