LUCKNOW: Independent MLA Aman Mani Tripathi was detained by the Uttarakhand police for allegedly violating lockdown rules.
The incident occurred at Gauchar of Chamoli district where the entourage was stopped for screening by officials on Sunday night.
Tripathi, along with ten others, was on a trip to Badrinath and Kedarnath with the requisite permission of Uttarakhand Additional Chief Secretary Om Prakash.
The MLA and his entourage was travelling in three vehicles and was stopped at Gauchar barrier by officials. However, they refused to stop and carried on towards Karnaprayag.
"Aman Mani Tripathi had come from Uttar Pradesh, along with others in three vehicles. They were stopped at Gauchar barrier. Without stopping they carried on and reached Karnaprayag. An argument ensued with the doctors and administration officials deployed for screening. The group was forced to return," said Karnaprayag SDM Vaibhav Gupta.
Uttarakhand DG Law and Order Ashok Kumar told reporters that an FIR has been lodged against Tripathi and 11 other persons under Sections 188, 269 and 270 of Indian Penal Code, Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Disease Act.
"After being arrested, they were served a notice and sent back to Uttar Pradesh," he added.
Interestingly, the MLA had earlier sought permission to visit these holy sites for offering prayers for the salvation of the soul of the father of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who passed away recently amid the lockdown.
The permission letter by the Uttarakhand government states this.
However, it could not be ascertained as to why Tripathi was going to offer prayers for Adityanath's father since the MLA did not respond to calls.
The entry of devotees to Kedarnath during lockdown is prohibited while the Badrinath shrine is scheduled to be opened on May 15.
Tripathi, an independent MLA from Nautanwa in Maharajganj is a controversial legislator. He is facing charges of his wife Sara's murder and the case is being probed by the CBI.
His parents-- former minister Amar Mani Tripathi and mother Madhu Mani Tripathi-are already in jail after being convicted for the murder of a poetess Madhumita Shukla in Lucknow in 2003.