Hate speech at ‘Dharma Sansad’: Uttarakhand cops make first arrest

The police arrested Waseem Rizvi, a former head of the Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, now known as Jitendra Narayan Tyagi after he converted to Hinduism recently.
Jitendra Narayan Tyagi being questioned by police after his arrest
Jitendra Narayan Tyagi being questioned by police after his arrest
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The Uttarakhand police on Thursday, January 14, made the first arrest in the Dharma Sansad hate speech case nabbing Waseem Rizvi who is now known as Jitendra Narayan Tyagi from Roorkee in Haridwar district, and issued notices to two other key accused Yati Narsimhananda and Sadhvi Annapurna for appearance before it. All the three are named along with others in the FIRs lodged in connection with the case.

While Rizvi has been arrested, notices for appearance under Section 41 A of the CrPC have been sent to Yati Narasimhanand and Sadhvi Annapurna, Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar told PTI. Yati Narasimhanand is the controversial priest of the Dasna Temple in Ghaziabad who had organised the Dharma Sansad in Haridwar, while Sadhvi Annapurna was one of the speakers at the event where highly provocative speeches were allegedly made against Muslims.

Waseem Rizvi was arrested from Narsan border in Roorkee, Haridwar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Yogendra Rawat told PTI. Rizvi who changed his name to Jitendra Narayan Tyagi after converting to Hinduism is among more than 10 people named in the FIRs lodged in connection with the case. He was formerly the head of Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board. This is the first arrest in the case.

When asked whether more arrests will follow, the SSP said it will depend on how the investigation progresses. The Uttarakhand government has been under tremendous pressure from different quarters to take action against those who had delivered the speeches at the event. Even the Supreme Court had pulled up the state government on Wednesday, January 12, for not acting against the guilty though so many days have passed after the incident.

Some participants at the Dharma Sansad held in Haridwar from December 17-19 have been accused of delivering highly provocative speeches.

Meanwhile, the petitioners in the hate speeches case in Supreme Court have written to the Aligarh district magistrate, urging the official to take preventive action to ensure that no speeches of the nature that were made at the Haridwar 'dharam sansad' are allowed at a proposed event in Aligarh.

Noting that they are writing to the Aligarh district magistrate pursuant to the liberty granted by the order of the Supreme Court, the petitioners, in their letter, said that another 'dharam sansad' is being organised now in Aligarh on January 22-23, wherein the speakers who participated in the aforementioned events held between December 17-19 are likely to be speaking again.

"The responsibility to take preventive measures to prevent any possible incident of mob violence therefore falls on the district administration, and you are in charge of the administration in Aligarh, so the responsibility falls on your shoulders to take preventive action to ensure no speeches of this nature are made," the letter by the petitioners said.

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