After a video of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) members purportedly recreating the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and garlanding Nathuram Godse surfaced, two of them were detained and nine were booked in Aligarh on Wednesday.
The video shows national secretary of ABHM, Dr Puja Shakun Pandey, purportedly shooting thrice at Gandhi’s effigy with an air pistol and the effigy being burnt later at their office in Gandhi Park.
After the video surfaced, a police team rushed to the office of ABHM and two of their workers were taken into custody. An FIR was lodged against nine people, including Pooja and four unidentified persons at Gandhi Park police station.
Circle Officer Neeraj Kumar Jadaun said, “Two of the named accused, Manoj Saini and Abhishek, who are seen in the video, were detained. Manoj was seen burning the effigy in the video. The investigation would reveal who circulated the video.”
He added that the accused had not taken permission from the district administration for organising the event.
They have been booked under IPC sections 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 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 147 (rioting), police said. Special Powers Act has also been invoked against the accused for burning the effigy.
Confirming that they have recreated Gandhi’s assassination, national spokesperson of ABHM, Ashok Pandey said, “We don’t find anything wrong in it because the country celebrates Ravan dahan as well by recreating the scene. We have done the act inside our office premises.”
ABHM observes Gandhi’s death anniversary on January 30 as ‘Shaurya Diwas’.
“He (Gandhi) was also responsible for Partition… Over 10 lakh Hindus died,” said Pandey, adding that he was present at the event.
Pandey said that Puja, who had come from Kumbh to attend the event, left for New Delhi later.