Two Congress leaders and an advocate were detained in Jamnagar on Tuesday after complaints over installation of a bust of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse and alleged vandalisation of it later.
According to two FIRs lodged at ‘A’ Division police station in Jamnagar city, Pratik Bhatt, an advocate who claims to be the president of Hindu Sena’s Gujarat unit, and others installed a bust of Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi near the Dudhiya Hanuman temple on Morkanda road off Kalavad Road on Monday evening. However, Virendrasinh alias Digubha Jadeja, president of Jamnagar city unit of Congress, and Dhaval Nanda, a sitting Congress corporator in JMC, allegedly vandalised the bust Tuesday.
Bhatt filed a complaint with ‘A’ Division police station, stating that Jadeja and Nanda vandalised the bust and also threw a shawl, with Sree Ram printed on it, wrapped around the bust into garbage, hurting his religious sentiments.
Based on his complaint, ‘A’ Division police booked Jadeja and Nanda under IPC Sections 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 114 (abetter present when offence is committed).
Later in the day, Jadeja also filed a complaint with ‘A’ Division police station stating, “Nathuram Godse assassinated the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi… we are followers of the Gandhian school of thought. By installing the bust of Nathuram Godse, Pratik Bhatt, Dhiren Nanda, Bhavesh Thummar and two others hurt our feelings and ideology.”
Jadeja also claimed that the accused had not taken permission from the competent authorities for installing the bust and that the act amounts to “promoting enmity among people”.
After registering the FIRs, police detained Bhatt, Dhiren, Thummar, Jadeja and Dhaval. “We have registered two separate offences on the basis of cross complaints received from Bhatt and Jadeja and detained all the five persons named in the twin FIRs. Prima facie, Bhatt had not sought permission from competent authorities for installing the bust. But we have summoned revenue records to ascertain if the place where the bust was installed is a private land or government land,” Jignesh Chavda, incharge DSP of Jamnagar city division, said.