Haridwar hate speech: Yati Narsinghanand among 2 more accused named in FIR

Haridwar ‘Dharam Sansad’ organisers to hold protest rally against FIRs, SIT over hate speeches

India News

The organisers of Haridwar “Dharam Sansad” have announced to hold a “pratikar sabha” or protest meeting on January 16 against the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and lodging of FIRs against them following a series of alleged hate speeches delivered at the event. They also alleged FIRs were lodged against them as the Uttarakhand government was scared of “jihadis”.

At the “Dharam Sansad”, which was a closed-door religious conclave held from December 17 to 19 last year, open calls for killing of Muslims to establish a Hindu Rashtra were made. Speakers also targeted former prime minister Manmohan Singh and invoked Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.

The event was organised by controversial Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand.

After videos of the event went viral, the Haridwar police filed an FIR against five of the speakers on charges of promoting enmity between groups and outraging religious sentiments. An SIT was also formed by the state Director General of Police. Earlier this week, another FIR was registered against one named person and several unidentified persons for allegedly making hate speeches at the Haridwar event and continuing to do so in the days that followed.

No arrest has been made so far in connection with the cases.

“We have called upon all Hindus and saints to join the sabha on January 16. We had organised the Dharam Sansad to work for our self-defence. There are mobs not only in Haridwar but across India. They keep threatening us and the Hindus. They are demanding our arrest and hanging. The ‘Pratikar Sabha’ is against the FIRs registered against us. The Uttarakhand government is acting under pressure. They are biased. There was no need for FIRs and an SIT, like we are militants,” said Maa Annapurna Bharti aka Pooja Shakun Pandey, who is one of those named in the first FIR.

Pandey said the ‘pratikar sabha’ will be organised at Bairagi Camp in Haridwar. “All those who participated in the Dharam Sansad in December and our core committee of 21 people are expected to be present in the sabha,” she added.

Talking to The Indian Express, Sagar Sindhuraj Maharaj, who runs Shri Krishna Pranami Kalyan Ashram in Devprayag (Tehri Garhwal district) and Roorkee, and has been named in the first FIR, alleged that the Uttarakhand government was working under pressure.

“This sabha will be in the form of a massive rally in Haridwar. It is against the works done by Uttarakhand and other governments under the terror of jihadis. They are regularly registering FIRs against saints. They formed an SIT against us for no reason. They, however, did not take any action on our complaint against the Quran and Muslims for spreading jihad. The Uttarakhand government and the Chief Minister (Pushkar Singh Dhami) are scared of jihadis,” he said.

Asked about the FIR against him in Haridwar, he said he hasn’t been given any information or notice regarding the case against him. “I don’t even know about the case registered against me. No one from the police or the administration has informed me about the FIR or served any notice. The only information I have is through the media.”

DIG Haridwar Yogendra Singh Rawat said they have so far not been informed about the January 16 event. “I came to know about the event through the media. As of now, they do not require a prior permission if they follow all Covid guidelines. However, new directions regarding Covid are coming every day and rules and guidelines might change by then,” said Rawat.

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