Abu Azmi convicted for hate speech

Updated - July 11, 2016 12:38 pm IST

Published - May 01, 2012 01:50 am IST - Mumbai:

A magistrate's court on Monday convicted Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi for a provocative speech he made in 2000. The court sentenced him to two-year imprisonment and fined him Rs. 11,000. However, it gave him 30 days to appeal to the sessions court.

Reacting to the judgment, Azmi told The Hindu on the phone: “It was a speech made back in 2000 when the Shiv Sena's hooliganism was at its peak. The government was inquiring into the places for namaaz and where the maulavis came from. So I said that there should not be any interference in religion. That if there are riots, then rivers of blood would flow.”

Mr. Azmi was convicted under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 153 (a) for promoting enmity between different groups of the Indian Penal Code.

Ejaz Naqvi, secretary of the party's legal cell, told The Hindu that government sanction was needed to prosecute under section 153. “It was not given in the case of others, but in Mr. Azmi's case the government gave sanction.”

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