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Uttarakhand Police Makes First Arrest In Hate Speech Ahead Assembly Elections

The Uttarakhand Police on Thursday detained Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, the former Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board director who until last month went by the name Waseem Rizvi, in the matter of hate speech between December 17-19.

It is the first attempt of the arrest for the matter filed on December 23 after public commotion as the videos of the event were widely shared in last few days and comes a day after the Supreme Court looked for a reaction from the state government on how it had treated the supposed hate speech made at the Dharam Sansad (religious parliament).

Station house official of the Haridwar police headquarters, Rakendra Kathait, said Tyagi was detained from the Narsain region of Uttarakhand border and Uttar Pradesh. Both the states are up for polls next month and this case may become the key issue.

“Tyagi was booked under IPC Section 153 A at Haridwar police station last month on the complaint of a Jwalapur resident on charges of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion during the Dharam Sansad,” he told, adding further that three cases were filed against Tyagi.

“He has been making repeated offences so police arrested him. Other accused have been served notices. Requisite legal process is on in the ongoing probe,” said Yogendra Singh Rawat, Senior superintendent of Haridwar.

IPC Section 153A deals with Promoting hostility between various gatherings on grounds of religion, race, spot of birth, home, language, and so on, and doing acts biased to maintenance of harmony.

Yati Narsinghanand, the coordinator of the occasion, who was with Tyagi at the hour of his arrest, denounced the activity by the police, and said it would caused diviners to understand a bigger “hidden agenda” to debilitate the Sanatan Dharma (ancient Hindu faith).

Narsinghanand is the Mahamandaleshwar (sect head) of the compelling Juna Akhada, and one of the five blamed named in the FIR. He additionally said that he will sit on a quick at Haridraw’s famous Har Ki Pauri, from January 14 to challenge Tyagi’s arrest.

“Wasim Rizvi converted to Hinduism despite knowing well the consequences from Muslim clerics and fundamentalists. So, it is now our responsibility to save and protect him,” said Narsinghanand.

Not long after the occasion which finished on December 19, videos of offensive discourses made had turned into a web sensation via social media. Members called for viciousness against strict minorities entire one of the speakers said he wished to shoot former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
On Wednesday, a SIT formed by the Uttarakhand Police to test the Dharam Sansad hate speech case recorded the speeches of two of the five named accused, including Tyagi, and somewhere around 12 “witnesses”. This came hours after the Supreme Court gave direction to the state government looking for a response on the activity taken by it while hearing a public interest case (PIL) that battled insufficient was being done to carry the accused to book.

“The SIT in its ongoing investigation of the case has so far questioned two of the five named accused — Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, formerly Waseem Rizvi and Annapurna Maa,” said one of the official from the SIT. “Their statements were recorded on Wednesday. Apart from this, SIT also recorded the statements of 12 more people as witness in the case including the complainants of the case. Police will soon question the other three remaining accused.”

Superintendent of police, Dehradun, Kamlesh Upadhyay, who is leading the SIT, said: “Police are taking all necessary actions in its probe as per law. Under that, it has recorded statements of two named accused and some witnesses.”

The first complaint filed by the police on December 23, at first named just one accused, Tyagi.

On December 25, names of Pooja Shakun Pandey assumed name Annapurna Maa, and Dharamdas Maharaj, an general secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, were also added. On January 1, police added the names of occasion coordinator Narsinghanand and Sagar Sindhu Maharaj. One more case was filed on the next day against Tyagi over a similar occurrence.

Another case was additionally filed against Narsinghanand at a Haridwar police headquarters on charges of offending religious faith, and offering disparaging comments on women. The complaint was registered by a third-year law student Ruchika, said police.

“The case against Swami Yati Narsinghanand has been registered under Section 295 (a) (insulting a religion with deliberate and malicious acts) and 509 (intending to insult the modesty of a woman). We are probing the matter and checking the video footage which the complainant has related to,” said Rakendra Kathait, the station house office of the city police station,clarified

Narsinghanand, who is based at Dasna Temple in Ghaziabad, said that he said nothing that annoyed or offended women. “I have no clue to which statement the said complainant has referred to. I don’t say anything derogatory to women, I will check it as I return to Haridwar. I have always been vocal about Sanatan Dharma and making India a Vedic nation,” he clarified.

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