An office bearer of VHP-affiliated Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) has been booked for allegedly threatening to kidnap Aligarh District Magistrate C B Singh and make him chant ‘Hanuman Chalisa’.
HJM state general secretary Surendra Singh Bhagaur’s remarks on Friday came after reports suggested that the district administration would not allow any new religious activities on roads in Aligarh. The administration’s reported direction was in response to Hindu groups’ call to organise ‘aartis’ and a ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ recital to protest namaz prayers on roads.
The video of his comment, made to media after an HJM meeting at Arya Samaj Mandir in Aligarh, was widely shared.
“According to the complaint filed by sub-inspector Govind Singh, Bhagaur had threatened to take the district magistrate hostage and make him chant ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ on the road. With his statement, he is trying to disturb the atmosphere of Aligarh,” said Dhirendra Mohan Sharma, station house officer of Gandhi Park Police Station, adding that HJM did not seek permission for the meeting.
Bhagaur has been booked under IPC sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 147 (rioting).
Aligarh HJM Sanyojak (coordinator) Amit Raja confirmed that Bhagaur visited Aligarh on July 26 and attended the meeting at the temple.
HJM’s Prant Adhyak Surendra Pal Singh Chauhan said Bhagaur’s remarks were not objectionable. “He raised a question. If no religious activities are allowed on road then why are people holding Namaz on roads?”
DM C B Singh could not be contacted for comment, while other administration officials refused to speak on the matter.