Updated: January 7, 2022 11:51:54 pm
A court in Pune on Friday granted bail to controversial religious guru Kalicharan Maharaj alias Abhijit Dhananjay Sarag (43), who was arrested by the city police in a hate speech case.
Pune city police had taken Kalicharan into custody from Raipur jail on Tuesday. He was arrested for allegedly making hate speech during the “Shivpratap Din” programme held in Pune on December 19. An FIR in the case was lodged at the Khadak police station on December 28, following analysis of a video clip of the programme.
On Wednesday, a magistrate court had remanded Kalicharan to police custody for one day. On Thursday, the court granted him magisterial custody. Kalicharan then moved an application seeking bail in the case through his counsel Amol Dange. The court granted the accused bail on personal bond of Rs 25,000 and one or two surety of like amount. The court also directed him to cooperate with the police during investigation and not to threaten the prosecution witnesses.
Along with Kalicharan, police had booked Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote besides Nandakishor Ekbote, Mohanrao Shete, Dipak Nagpure and Captain Digendra Kumar in the case under sections 295 (a), 298, 505 (2) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Kumar is a Kargil war hero who retired from the Indian Army in 2005. He was awarded the Mahavir Chakra in 1999. He was among the speakers at the programme in which, police alleged, hate speeches were made against Muslims and Christians.
A resident of Akola district of Maharashtra, Kalicharan was earlier arrested by the Chhattisgarh police in a case lodged at the Tikrapara police station last month for allegedly making derogatory statements against Mahatma Gandhi during his speech at an event in Raipur.
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