Updated: February 4, 2021 11:30:29 pm
IN AN editorial published on Thursday, titled ‘Sharjilala Bedya Padtil! Nishhint Raha!’ (Sharjeel will be arrested, dont worry), Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana assured readers that Sharjeel Usmani, a former student leader at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), will be arrested. The editorial further states that it is also the responsibility of the “Yogi government” (Uttar Pradesh government) to hand over Usmani to the Maharashtra police.
Usmani was booked for his alleged objectionable speech against the Hindu community and the Indian State at the Elgaar Parishad 2021 event in Pune on January 30.
Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis on February 2 had written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, seeking action against Usmani.
The editorial slams Usmani for his comments against Hindutva and further states that by demanding action against Usmani, Fadnavis has expressed ‘Mann ki baat’ of the state government. “Everyone wants that Usmani should be held and brought to Maharashtra… but for that there is no need to bother much about,” it is stated.
The editorial further takes a dig at the BJP by asking “whether fixing iron nails ahead of the farmers’ agitation at Delhi border is an honour to all Hindu farmers… BJP leaders should worry about this Hindutva on streets”.
The editorial then seeks action against those who invited Usmani to Pune. The Shiv Sena is present in Maharashtra and attacks on Hindutva would not be tolerated, it also states.
The editorial further states that “Hindutvadrohi” persons like Usmani emerge from UP. “Sharjeel is hiding in UP’s Aligarh. Maharashtra police will nab him… but some responsibility also lies with the Yogi government. They should hand over Sharjeel, who is on the run and hiding, to the Maharashtra police. Nobody should interfere in this matter because incidents are on the rise, where BJP-ruled governments provide special security cover to those criminals against whom Maharashtra takes action…”
“…don’t worry! Not just Hindus, all communities are safe in Thackeray government. The BJP should rather support Hindu farmers agitating on the streets for the past three months,” the editorial concludes.
On February 3, BJP MLA Chandrakant Patil wrote to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking action against Usmani, claiming that the 12.5-crore population of Maharashtra believes that the Uddhav Thackeray-led government will not act against him.
In some hours, based on a complaint filed by a man identified as Anurag Singh, a case of sedition was registered against Usmani in Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station in connection with his speech at Elgaar Parishad. The UP police booked Usmani under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings) of the IPC along with relevant sections of the IT Act.
Out on bail, Usmani was arrested by the UP police for allegedly taking part in clashes following protests against the citizenship law, on the AMU campus on December 15, 2019.
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