Updated: September 2, 2021 7:50:01 am
A day after his arrest in connection with anti-Muslim slogans raised at a Jantar Mantar event last month, Hindu Raksha Dal chief Pinky Chaudhary is learnt to have told police during questioning that he attended a meeting in the second week of July chaired by former Delhi BJP spokesperson and Supreme Court lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay where it was decided to organise the protest.
Chaudhary had attended the August 8 protest along with 150 supporters. “Chaudhary told police he was associated with the Hindu Shakti Vahini three-four years ago, when he claimed to have met Upadhyay. He claimed he met the other accused —Uttam Malik, Preet Singh, Deepak Singh, Deepak Kumar, Vinod Sharma, Vinit Bajpai, and Sushil Tiwari — on several occasions earlier. In the second week of July, a meeting was held in Connaught Place to discuss a protest against ‘Colonial-era laws’ in the country, where he claimed Upadhyay, Preet Singh, and 15-20 others were present,” said a senior officer.
“He told police that after an FIR was lodged against him, he moved from Delhi to Lucknow to Dasna,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, Upadhyay has maintained he had no links with those who raised the inflammatory slogans. When contacted, Upadhyay said, “I don’t know him (Chaudhary) personally… Preet Singh knows him and we called a press conference on July 11 on ‘Population control’ at Arya Samaj… he must have been invited by Preet Singh… there was no meeting on the protest… I am not associated with any Hindu Shakti Vahini organisation.”
Hundreds of Chaudhary’s supporters had accompanied him Tuesday when he surrendered. Chaudhary was later taken to Connaught Place police station and arrested.
A video had surfaced Sunday wherein Chaudhary, alias Bhupinder Tomar, said, “Neither I nor any worker of my organisation did anything wrong at Jantar Mantar. I respect the court and will cooperate with the police. I never ran away from arrest. It is the right of every person to go to court and I did the same. All the allegations are false and baseless. I have devoted my life to Hinduism and Hindutva. I will continue to work for my religion.”
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