TWO days after the arrest of Waseem Rizvi alias Jitendra Narayan Tyagi in connection with the three-day conclave held last month in Haridwar where several hate speeches were made targeting Muslims and calling for violence against them, the Uttarakhand police arrested its key organiser, Yati Narsinghanand, Saturday night.
Narsinghanand, the controversial priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad, was on a hunger strike at Sarvanand Ghat in Haridwar protesting against the arrest of Tyagi.
Calling it “injustice,” he had raised questions about the police action against Tyagi. “He was arrested because he was once a Muslim who converted to Hinduism. This is so that no other Muslim converts to Hinduism,” Narsinghanand had claimed.
Haridwar | Religious leader Yati Narsinghanand arrested for Haridwar ‘Dharm Sansad’ hate speeches
This is the second arrest in the case after Waseem Rizvi pic.twitter.com/2j0wv1Rsxz
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) January 15, 2022
Sources said earlier in the day, Narsinghanand had an “altercation” with a journalist who was allegedly manhandled. A senior police official said that based on the journalist’s complaint, another FIR was registered against Narsinghanand.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Superintendent of Police, Haridwar (City), Swatantra Kumar, said: “Yati Narsinghanand has been arrested by the Haridwar police and was brought to the Kotwali police station from where he is being sent to a hospital.”
A crowd of supporters had gathered outside the police station late Saturday night and officials said “minor force” had to be used to disperse them.
The conclave took place December 17-19 but the arrest of Tyagi and Narsinghanand has come after the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre, Delhi Police and the Uttarakhand government last Monday.
The notice was over a PIL alleging police inaction and seeking probe into the hate speeches at two separate events in Haridwar, organised by Narsinghanand, and another in Delhi by Hindu Yuva Vahini where speakers allegedly called for the “genocide of members” of a community.
Two FIRs have been registered. The first on December 23 on the complaint of one Gulbahar Khan at the Haridwar Kotwali police station under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups and acts prejudicial to harmony) and 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
Five were named in this FIR: Tyagi, Dharamdas Maharaj, Annapurna Maa, Narsinghanand and Sagar Sindhuraj Maharaj.
Another FIR was registered on January 2 on the complaint of social worker Nadeem Ali for allegedly making hate speeches at the Haridwar event and continuing to do so in the days that followed. This FIR, under Sections 153A and 298 (uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) named Tyagi and unidentified others.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been formed to investigate the case.
Narsinghanand, who faces several FIRs in UP, has called for a “war against Muslims” and urged “Hindus to take up weapons.” Earlier this month, accusing the Uttarakhand state government of working under pressure of “jihadis”, the organisers of the conclave called for a protest meeting on January 16 against the FIRs.