BJP MLA Suresh Rana was booked by Shamli police on Monday on charges of inciting hatred after he said curfew will be imposed in Kairana, Deoband and Moradabad if he is elected again in the UP polls beginning next month. “A case has been filed against Suresh Rana under Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation of the People Act and sections 505 (2) (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public) and 171 (G) (false statement in connection with an election) of the IPC,” Shamli SP Ajay Pal said. He added that Rana’s statement also violated the model code of conduct for elections.
Rana, an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and the BJP candidate from Thana Bhawan in Shamli district, had made the remarks at a gathering in his constituency on Saturday. “If Suresh Rana wins the polls again, curfew will be imposed in Kairana, Deoband and Moradabad. March 11 will be the date and a procession will move from Shamli to Thana Bhawan with slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai,” he had said. Kairana made headlines last year after BJP MP Hukum Singh alleged that there was exodus of Hindus and released a list of more than 300 Hindu families who had reportedly fled the town following repeated extortion threats and violent attacks.
Rana, also the UP BJP vice-president, on Monday said his remarks were meant for goons who have spread terror in the state. “I meant many people had planned to leave western UP fearing the terror spread by goons and robbers. There is no city in the region where people did not plan to move out due to the fear of these goons,” he said. BJP leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi sought to distance from the MLA’s remarks saying “the party is not responsible if a candidate says something”. “Modiji and Amit Shah are saying that such statements should not be made. I don’t know in what context he (Rana) has said it but I understand that our party is contesting the UP elections on the development plank,” she claimed. Meanwhile, the RLD candidate against Rana from Thana Bhawan, Javed Rao, was also booked on Monday for allegedly making objectionable statements at a rally.
Addressing a gathering in Thana Bhawan, Rao reportedly said: “Jis cheez ka nuksaan humari kaum aaj tak utha rahi hai wo yahi to hai ki Pakistan bana. Agar Pakistan na hita to hum dogune hote. Tab hum bhi yaha DM or SP bante (Our community is suffering due to the formation of Pakistan… If there was no Pakistan, our numbers would have doubled and we would have become DMs and SPs here).” Mocking BJP, he had added: “Lahore me jhanda fehraoge to wo bhi Hindustan ho jayaga. Tab hum dogune ho jayenge (If you hoist the flag in Lahore, our numbers would double).” “Rao was addressing a rally when he made such objectionable statements,” said Anuradha Singh, SHO Thana Bhawan police station, where the FIR was lodged. Rao has been booked under Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act and sections 505 (2) and 171 (G) of the IPC.