- Ashish Pandey surrendered at a court in Delhi
- He said he only took the gun for safety and "did not brandish it"
- He said that CCTV footage would clear the air on "who threatened whom"
Ashish Pandey, the BSP leader's son who went missing since he waved a gun and threatened a woman at a five-star hotel in Delhi, has surrendered at a court in the national capital. In a video message, he has also claimed that he was the one who was being threatened and the gun he pulled was meant for "safety". "I surrendered because I have faith in the judiciary. There is no criminal case against me," he said.
The police had been hunting for Ashish Pandey after a widely circulated cellphone video from the hotel evoked shock and outrage at the brazen display of VIP arrogance. In the video, he could be seen holding a gun and repeatedly threatening to kill a young man and his woman friend.
Ashish Pandey is the son of Rakesh Pandey, a former lawmaker from Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party. His brother Ritesh Pandey represents the Jalalpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh assembly.
"I'm being projected like a wanted terrorist and the police across the nation is looking for me. A Lookout Circular has been issued against me. If you check the CCTV footage, you'll find who went to the ladies' toilet that night and who threatened whom," Ashish Pandey was heard saying in the video after turning himself in.
He said he did not "brandish" the gun - "it was hanging behind me all the time". He also said the woman he was accused of threatening had pushed him and made obscene hand gestures. As for the gun, he said he did not "brandish" it. "It was hanging behind me all the time," he said.
The row had started in the hotel's ladies' toilet. Gaurav Singh -- the son of a former Congress lawmaker and the man Ashish Pandey was seen threatening -- had accompanied his woman friend to the restroom. A fight started when a group of women entered.
Asish Pandey did put out an apology, but on a WhatsApp group accompanied with an SOS message.
"Dear friends, there is a viral video of me going around...it as a mistake...I made a mistake and apologise for it. At this time need you stand by me and help me stop this video going viral. I am really sorry, I disappointed you and myself. Help me sort this mess up please," the message read.
After his friends told him the video had already gone viral, Mr Pandey exited from all WhatsApp groups and switched off his phone.
On Wednesday, a court issued a non-bailable warrant against Mr Pandey. The police have recorded statements of his friends and relatives from Delhi and Lucknow. Yesterday, a case was filed against him under the Arms Act. He has been placed in police custody for a day.
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