Yati Narsinghanand booked for controversial remarks at ‘Hindu Mahapanchayat’ in Delhi

The controversial priest says ‘50% of Hindus will convert in 20 years if a Muslim became PM’; mob allegedly assaulted around six journalists covering the event

April 04, 2022 12:54 am | Updated 05:55 pm IST - New Delhi

Yati Narsinghanand speaks during the ‘Hindu Mahapanchayat’ at Burari in New Delhi on April 3, 2022.

Yati Narsinghanand speaks during the ‘Hindu Mahapanchayat’ at Burari in New Delhi on April 3, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Yati Narsinghanand was booked along with other speakers on Sunday for alleged hate speeches made at a “Hindu Mahapanchayat” that “50% of Hindus will convert” in 20 years if a Muslim becomes the prime minister of the country.

Police said they had denied permission for the event but the organisers still went ahead with the “Mahapanchayat Sabha” and around 700-800 people were present at the venue.

Three FIRs have been lodged in connection with the event, police said, adding that legal action is being taken against those spreading rumours and misinformation using various platforms, including through social media.

All cases are being investigated and no arrests have been made yet, police said. In a statement, the Delhi Police said a request letter seeking permission for organising the event was received in North-West district from Preet Singh, president, Save India Foundation. Singh is a resident of outer Delhi’s Mangolpuri.

“The request was denied on the ground that the organiser had no permission from the land-owning agency -- Delhi Development Authority -- for organising this sabha at the Burari ground. Despite the denial by Delhi Police, on Sunday, organiser Preet Singh reached the Burari ground with his supporters in the morning and started organising the Hindu Mahapanchayat Sabha. Around 700-800 people gathered at the event place and the invitees of the organiser started delivering speeches from the stage,” the statement said.

A police team reached the venue of the event. Some of the speakers, including Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, the head priest of the Dasna Devi temple, and Suresh Chauhanke, chief editor of Sudarshan News, uttered words promoting disharmony, feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between two communities.

Accordingly, a case under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code was registered at the Mukherjee Nagar police station.

The second FIR was registered on a complaint received from two journalists of a news portal, police said. “In their complaint, they alleged that at around 1.30 pm, when they were rushing towards the exit, they were manhandled and assaulted by a group of people who also tried to snatch their mobile phones and I-cards,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) Usha Rangnani said, adding that they refused to undergo a medical test.

Complaint by journalist

The third FIR was registered on another complaint received from a freelance journalist, who alleged that at around 1 pm, when he and two other journalists were interviewing a man, some people assaulted him, the officer said.

“Police intervened and ensured their safety. They were medically examined and a case under sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered,” she added. The development comes after Narsinghanand, notorious for making intemperate remarks against Muslims, stoked yet another controversy with his comment that “50 per cent of Hindus will convert” in 20 years if a Muslim becomes the prime minister of India.

Addressing the “Hindu Mahapanchayat” for which the Delhi administration had not granted permission, he also exhorted Hindus to take up arms to fight for their existence. The mahapanchayat was organised by Preet Singh of Save India Foundation. This is the same group that had earlier held a similar controversial event at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, where anti-Muslim slogans were raised.

Singh was arrested by the Delhi Police for making a hate speech at the Jantar Mantar event. Several other Hindu supremacist leaders also attended the Sunday event. Narsinghanand is currently on bail in connection with the Haridwar hate speech case.

“Only in 2029 or in 2034 or in 2039, a Muslim will become the prime minister. Once a Muslim becomes the prime minister, 50 per cent Hindus will convert, 40 per cent will be killed and the remaining 10 per cent will either live in refugee camps or in other countries in the next 20 years. “This will be the future of the Hindus. If you want to avoid this future, then become a man and take up arms,” Narsinghanand is heard saying in a video clip of the mahapanchayat, which is being circulated on social media.

PTI could not independently check the veracity of the video.

Narsinghanand has been involved in hate speech cases in the past as well. An FIR was lodged in Haridwar against him for making highly provocative speeches against Muslims at the Dharma Sansad, which was held in the holy town between December 17 and December 19 last year. In the Sunday mahapanchayat, Narsinghanand went on to assert that Hindus should stop “begging” for their rights.

“For long I have seen Hindus begging for their demands to be fulfilled. But I have not seen even a single demand of any Hindu being met. We got Ram Janmabhoomi not by begging but through the court’s intervention, so stop being a beggar,” he was heard saying in the video clip. Sharing a tweet by one of the journalists who alleged that two young Muslim men from the media were assaulted by a Hindu mob at the mahapanchayat and were also taken into custody, Rangnani took to Twitter to say nobody was detained.

“Some of the reporters, willingly, on their own free will, to evade the crowd which was getting agitated by their presence, sat in PCR Van stationed at the venue and opted to proceed to Police Stn for security reasons. No one was detained. Due police protection was provided,” she said. “For spreading misinformation, due necessary action shall be initiated against such persons,” she added.

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