Indian Express

Pravin Togadia under fire for hate-speech, RSS says he didn’t say that

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People should select only those who have honoured their commitments and are honest, says Praveen Togadia. (Express) VHP president Pravin Togadia urged a small gathering of VHP and Bajrang Dal members to evict Muslims from their houses. (PTI)

As per media reports, Vishwa Hindu Parishad president Pravin Togadia delivered an anti-Muslim speech in Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

Protesting outside the house of a Muslim businessman, Togadia allegedly gave the occupant 48 hours to vacate his house, failing which he asked his followers to take forcible possession of his property and fight a legal battle later which will go on for years.

To prevent Muslims from buying properties he wanted the government to bring in Disturbed Areas Act to Bhavnagar, which would prevent inter-community sale of immovable property.

The report claimed that the VHP leader also threatened Muslims with violence and asked his followers to “go with stones, tyres and tomatoes” and that there was nothing to fear.

However, Togadia has denied making any such comments against Muslims and issued a press release in which he said that the media reports were “fabricated and written with malicious intention to malign his and his organisation’s name.”

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh backed the under fire leader by denying that Togadia has made those hate comments.

“I have spoken to Praveen Togadia, he completely denies making such comments. It is fabricated. No Swayamsevak thinks on such divisive lines. They think of all people as one. One people, one nation,” said RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav.

Both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party lashed out at the VHP leader for his alleged comments.

Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, “I think Praveen Togadia should be treated. He should be hospitalized. In this country, if Hindus stay in a Hindu area and Muslims in a Muslim area, and they are not allowed to buy property in each others areas, it is against the Constitution.”

While AAP called it “an extremely shocking and a shameful act”.

The Election Commission has sought the recording of the speech.

“They (EC officials) are in the process of acquiring the recording of the statements made by Togadia and after listening to it they will decide the future course of action,” said Bhavnagar District Collector and Returning Officer P K Solanki.

 

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