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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Jantar Mantar anti-Muslim slogans: Delhi court denies bail to Sudarshan Vahini president

The court said Vinod Sharma was "instrumental in organising the protest at Jantar Mantar".

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: September 18, 2021 1:39:54 pm
Jantar mantar, Delhi High court, Delhi HC grants bail to jantar mantar accused, Anti-muslim slogans, Delhi news, Indian expressDelhi Police near Jantar Mantar in New Delhi (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal, File)

A Delhi court has denied bail to Vinod Sharma, national president of Hindu outfit Sudarshan Vahini, who is accused in the anti-Muslim sloganeering incident at a Jantar Mantar event in August.

Additional Sessions Judge Anil Antil denied bail to Sharma stating that he “may not be the person who was directly delivering those inflammatory/ hatred speeches”, however, he was “instrumental in organising the protest at Jantar Mantar”.

The court held that this was evident from the material placed on record, like banners and posters, on which Sharma’s mobile number and photographs are printed with a call to his supports to join the protest.

“It is difficult to say that there is no prima facie material against the accused to attract the ingredients of Section 153-A IPC (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion),” the court said.

It said his presence “not as a curious onlooker or a bystander, suggests active participation in the object of the assembly.”

The court said it is “necessary to observe that the accused, despite being aware of the intention of the protest rally, organised thereto out of his free will participation and subsequent.”

The lawyer for the accused, Rajat Aneja told the court it is “evident that he has not uttered any hatred or inflammatory words or objectionable slogans against any religion or any other particular section of the society.”

He argued that the “viral video of alleged incident is edited record prepared intentionally and deliberately by the prosecution to falsely book the applicant and other persons.”

“After cooking up a false story to rope the applicant/accused alongwith other members of the different Hindu organisations, a police constable was introduced as a complainant to lodge an FIR with intent to curtail there constitutional right of freedom and liberty, by involving and arresting them in such a false case,” he argued.

Additional Public Prosecutor S K Kain said in the video, “it appears that objectionable slogans and hatred/inflammatory speeches were delivered against the particular community by the accused persons in a very tactful manner under well hatched conspiracy along with chantings of Hanuman Challisa to divert the attention of listeners.”

Kain argued that the accused, with his associates, conspired to use the Jantar Mantar event to create “communal disharmony and to give communal colours to their illegal designs… that they persuaded the youth of our society to propagate against a particular community despite knowing the fact that the sanction to gather at Jantar Mantar for the procession has been refused by the competent authority.”

He argued that the accused issued banners in his name, distributed banners and posters all over Delhi with the call to his supports to reach at Jantar Mantar on the given date; and that on earlier occasions also he was actively involved into agitation against the other community by raising frivolous demands.”

The protest march against “colonial-era laws” had hundreds of people in attendance. Purported videos of the event showed people shouting slogans threatening harm to Muslims.

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