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EC bans Amit shah, Azam Khan from holding public rallies after hate speech
Cracking the whip on Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah and SP leader Azam Khan, the Election Commission on Friday banned them from holding public meetings, processions or roadshows in Uttar Pradesh and asked authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against them.
The EC also directed the Chief Secretary to ensure that no act of commission or omission is resorted to by BJP leader Amit Shah and UP Minister Azam Khan that can affect public tranquility and law and order.
The EC was also critical of the role of Samajwadi Party’s government in the state for “soft-pedalling” on registration of FIRs against Khan and not dealing with the sensitive issue with alacrity. The tough stand was taken by the EC at a top-level meeting of Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and Election Commissioners H S Brahma and S N A Zaidi where the poll body exercised its constitutional powers to prevent the two leaders from further vitiating the poll atmosphere.
“The Commission directs under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, that necessary FIRs should be immediately filed and criminal proceedings initiated against the above mentioned two leaders, wherever the same have not been instituted so far,” the order said.
It also said, “No permission should be granted for holding public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, etc., by the district administration authorities, where the above two leaders are expected or likely to participate.” The EC also directed the Chief Secretary to ensure compliance of its orders by 5 PM of April 12.
The poll body directed the authorities to take all preventive measures against Shah and Khan under the relevant provisions of CrPC to ensure that no act of commission or omission is resorted to by them which has the effect of prejudicially affecting public tranquility and law and order.
The EC said it has been observing with serious concern that Khan and Shah have been making highly inflammatory speeches during the course of the current election campaign for Lok Sabha polls.
“These statements are, inter alia, promoting feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will and creating disharmony between different religious communities on the ground of religion. “Further, these provocative statements being made by them are highly prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious communities and also likely to disturb peace and public tranquility,” the three-page EC order said.
The poll body said the statements and public utterances of Shah and Khan were made with “deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings continued…