Lucknow: An independent MLA from Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh, Aman Mani Tripathi, was arrested by the police on Monday in Bijnor for allegedly acquiring special passes for three cars and a dozen people to travel to Uttarakhand and Kashmir on the pretext that they were to attend rituals of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's deceased father. Yogi’s father had died on April 20 and the chief minister had skipped his funeral citing Covid responsibilities. Tripathi is the son of former minister Amar Mani Triptahi who is currently serving a term in Uttarakhand jail in the Madhumita Shukla case.
A copy of the purported pass, which went viral, showed travel permission granted by the UP government for three cars and 11 persons in the name of Aman Mani Tripathi. Tripathi and his aides allegedly wanted to travel to Badrinath and Kedarnath, prominent Hindu shrines, from Maharajganj; they were stopped on the way near Karnaprayag.
When quizzed, it was learnt that the MLA and his entourage had crossed over from UP. When we asked about permissions, the legislator started misbehaving with the officials and even drove away; he was intercepted at the Karnaprayag barricade, said SDM Vaibhav Gupta.
An FIR was registered against them; however, they were released on personal security and allowed to return to UP. The Bijnor police later booked them on charges of traveling "without pass" and for violation of the Epidemic Act. “We got a tip-off that the MLA and his team were roaming in the area in three cars despite lockdown.
We traced them. They were asked about the travel pass but they failed to produce it. Hence, they were arrested,” said a press note issued by the police. Since Badrinath shrine is expected to open on May 15, the motive behind Tripathi’s trip is still unclear.
The MLA’s photo on social media went viral where he is seen taking a bath in a river. The matter has come as a massive embarrassment for the CM. The UP government later came out with a press statement.
“It is being presented in the media that MLA Tripathi was tasked by the CM to travel to Uttarakhand. We hereby clarify that neither the CM, nor the government, had assigned him this task. He is responsible for his own conduct. To link his fraudulent work with the CM amounts to latter’s insult.”