Narsinghanand, Owaisi booked by Delhi Police

Two FIRs have been lodged in the case so far; Mamata Banerjee appeals for calm in Bengal

Updated - June 11, 2022 02:22 pm IST

Published - June 09, 2022 02:07 pm IST - New Delhi/Kolkata

(Clockwise from top left) AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Dasna Devi temple priest Yati Narsinghanand and former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.

(Clockwise from top left) AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Dasna Devi temple priest Yati Narsinghanand and former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal. | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after they booked suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma for “spreading hate”, the Delhi Police confirmed that a total of 31 persons were named in First Information Reports (FIRs) for hurting religious sentiments and spreading misinformation online, who included All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Dasna Devi temple priest Yati Narsinghanand.

Two FIRs have been lodged in the case so far. The first FIR was based on tweets and statements posted by expelled Delhi BJP media unit head Naveen Jindal against Prophet Muhammed and Islam.

The other FIR names Ms. Sharma and several others, including journalist Saba Naqvi, Maulana Mufti Nadeem from Rajasthan, the Peace Party chief spokesperson Shadab Chauhan and Hindu Mahasabha member Pooja Shakun Pandey.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday urged the people of her State to maintain calm after demonstrations were held and roads were blocked by people protesting the objectionable comments by Mr. Jindal and Ms. Sharma. The Chief Minister also demanded the arrest of Ms. Sharma.

“Had it happened in Bengal, I would have arrested her [Ms. Sharma]. Those protesting in Bengal should go to Delhi and protest,” Ms. Banerjee told a press conference in Kolkata.

Reacting sharply to the FIR against him, Mr. Owaisi, in a series of tweets, said the Delhi Police were ‘suffering from “both sideism” or “balance-waad” syndromes’.

Mr. Owaisi said, “It appears that the Delhi Police lack the courage to pursue cases against Yati, Nupur Sharma & Naveen Jindal etc.”

The police said that on the basis of the material available on social media and articles published in newspapers and on other fora, it was found that some persons were using “hate-worthy language intentionally”, while “having complete knowledge that use of such type of language is not only discriminatory” but more than sufficient to create a situation of animosity among different groups.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit) K.P.S. Malhotra said the case was registered on Wednesday. He said the social media users were booked for “spreading hate, inciting groups and disturbing public tranquillity”.

In a Twitter post, the Delhi Police said they had sent notices to the intermediaries to get details of several other social media users.

AIMIM supporters held a protest outside the Parliament Street police station opposing the FIR against Mr. Owaisi. A total of 33 protesters were detained and an FIR, under the IPC Section pertaining to disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant, was lodged against the agitators.

Ms. Banerjee said there was a case pending against Ms. Sharma in West Bengal. “She [Ms. Sharma] had tweeted a photograph of Bangladesh claiming it to be West Bengal… Former Union Minister the late Arun Jaitley had asked us not to take action.”

Ms. Banerjee added that instead of blocking roads, people should give memorandums and lodge complaints against those who made the objectionable remarks.The protests were organised by an organisation called ‘Imam Association’ in Howrah. Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation Firhad Hakim said some “self-proclaimed Imams” were behind the protest.

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