Agra hate speech: Non-bailable warrants against VHP, BJP leaders

The Agra police have obtained non-bailable warrants against VHP leader Ashok Lavaniya, BJP leader Kundanika Sharma and ABVP activist Shashank Chaudhary who were booked on charges of giving objectionable and provocative speeches.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow | Updated: March 13, 2016 2:07 am

The Agra police have obtained non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against VHP leader Ashok Lavaniya, BJP leader Kundanika Sharma and ABVP activist Shashank Chaudhary who were booked on charges of giving objectionable and provocative speeches during condolence meeting of VHP district vice-president Arun Mahaur, who was murdered on February 25.

In the meeting held on February 28, Lavaniya, who is the VHP’s Agra district general secretary, and Sharma, the local BJP corporator and party’s Braj region vice-president, among others, had allegedly equated Muslims to “demons” and “descendants of Ravana”, and warned the community of a “final battle”.

Station House Officer, Loha Mandi police station in Agra, Harendra Pal Singh said, “We applied and obtained NBWs against Lavaniya, Sharma and Chowdhary who were named in the FIR as they remained untraceable despite several efforts.”

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The SHO added that they have video footage of the speeches as an evidence against the accused.

When contacted, Sharma said, “Police never visited my residence ever since the FIR has been lodged. I had even sent SMSes to the district magistrate and the SSP to tell me the place where I could come and surrender myself. But, none replied.” When asked, the SHO did not comment on Kundanika’s claim.

The Agra police had lodged an FIR on March 1 against the VHP and BJP leaders and few unidentified persons on different sections of the IPC, including 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony). The FIR was lodged on a complaint of sub-inspector Anil Kumar, who is in-charge of Japraus police outpost in Loha Mandi police station area.

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