Accused No 1 in Haridwar hate speech case arrested, others sent notice

BySandeep Rawat and Kalyan Das
Jan 13, 2022 09:04 PM IST

Jitendra Narayan Tyagi’s arrest comes a day after the Supreme Court issued notice to the state government on a plea demanding stringent action against those involved in making hate speeches at the religious event held in Haridwar last month

HARIDWAR/DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand police on Thursday evening arrested former Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi alias Jitendra Narayan Tyagi in connection with three-day-long Dharam Sansad held in Haridwar on December 17-19, police said.

The Supreme Court has given the Uttarakhand government 10 days on a petition over the religious event where some speakers allegedly called for violence against Muslims and Christians. (Screengrab)
The Supreme Court has given the Uttarakhand government 10 days on a petition over the religious event where some speakers allegedly called for violence against Muslims and Christians. (Screengrab)

This is the first arrest in the hate speech case registered last month and comes a day after the Supreme Court sought a response from the state government on the action taken over the hate speeches made at the Dharam Sansad.

Tyagi has been arrested from the Narsain area on the border between Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, station house officer Haridwar police station Rakendra Kathait said.

“Tyagi had been booked under IPC Section 153 A (promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred) at Haridwar police station last month on a complaint by a Jwalapur resident on charges of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion during the Dharam Sansad”, he said.

Kathait said three cases have been filed against Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, who he described as a repeat offender to explain the arrest.

“The other accused have been served notices. The requisite legal process is on,” said senior superintendent of police, Haridwar Yogendra Singh Rawat.

Swami Yati Narsinghanand, who was also accompanying Jitendra Narayan Tyagi (Rizvi) when he was arrested, described the police action as a step that will lead seers to seriously consider the possibility of a hidden agenda to weaken the Sanatan Dharma.

The special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe the hate speech case has recorded statements of two of the five accused named in the case.

“The SIT in its ongoing investigation of the case has so far questioned two of the five named accused- Jitendra Narayan Tyagi formerly Waseem Rizwi and Annapurna Maa,” a member of the special team said.

“Their statements were recorded on Wednesday. Apart from this, the SIT also recorded the statements of 12 more people as witnesses in the case including the complainants of the case. Police will soon question the other three remaining accused,” said the officer.

Superintendent of police Dehradun (rural) Kamlesh Upadhyay who is heading 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. No arrest has been made so far.”

In its case registered on December 23 after the videos of speeches made at the Dharma Sansad emerged, the initial first information report (FIR) only listed one accused, Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, formerly Wasim Rizvi, by name. Later, four more names, Annapurna Maa alias Pooja Shakun Pandey, Dharamdas Maharaj, a general secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, event organiser Yati Narsinghanand and Sagar Sindhu Maharaj, were added.

Another case was also registered in the same incident against Tyagi at Jwalapur police station of Haridwar which was later transferred to Haridwar Kotwali police station where the initial case was registered.

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