Following a local court order, Gorakhpur police Friday lodged an FIR against Parvej Parvaz for allegedly “producing a doctored video as evidence” in a 2007 hate speech case against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Parvaz had filed a petition in 2008 against the then Gorakhpur MP Adityanath and four others, accusing them of delivering hate speech and allegedly inciting communal violence in the region after a clash during Muharram procession. “An FIR has been lodged at the Cantonment Police Station in Gorakhpur late Friday evening following the court’s order,” Vinay Kumar Singh, additional SP, said.
Apart from Adityanath, other accused in the case include Union minister Shiv Pratap Shukla, BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, former mayor Anju Chowdhary and former MLC and BRD Medical College retired doctor, Y D Singh.
In the fresh order by the local Gorakhpur court issued on Thursday, Parvaz has been accused of submitting a DVD as an evidence that has been edited and tampered with. Parvaz, at present is lodged in jail in connection with a gangrape case.
“During investigation, Parvaz submitted the DVD to an officer as an evidence. The DVD was then sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory which in October 2014 found that the content in the DVD are not original and have been tampered with,” said Singh’s lawyer Ashok Shukla. On basis of the forensic report, Singh filed a complaint with the Gorakhpur police against Parvaz for submitting false evidence. When the police “did not entertain his complaint”, Singh moved the court to seek direction to lodge an FIR in 2016, Shukla said.
“In a complaint to the court, we stated that in a conspiracy Parvaz submitted false evidence which is a serious offence. We also stated that he had attempted to fabricate my client and others to hurt their image. On Thursday, a local court directed the police to lodge the FIR,” said Shukla.
While the investigation was under way, Parvaz had moved the Allahabad High Court seeking transfer of the probe from UP Police’s Crime Branch (CB-CID) to other independent agency stating that the state police was deliberately delaying and impeding investigation, Parvaz’a lawyer S Farman Naqvi said.
While the matter was pending in the court, the CB-CID after completing the investigation, sent a letter to the then state government in 2015 seeking prosecution sanction against Adityanath and others under IPC section 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), added Naqvi.
In May 2017, the present BJP government informed the court that they have refused to grant sanction against Adityanath and others on basis of the forensic report that found the content in the DVD produced as an evidence was “tampered with”. The government also informed the court that the agency has filed a closure report in the case.
In February this year, the Allahabad HC dismissed his petition after finding no discrepancy in the probe. Challenging the HC order, Parvaz filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court, which in August, issued notices to the state government asking it to file reply in two weeks, Naqvi said.
The incident dates back to January 2007 when clashes broke out during a Muharram procession in Gorakhpur. Adityanath, then the Gorakhpur MP, is reported to have delivered an objectionable speech after a Hindu youth, who was injured in the clashes, died.