FIR lodged against Togadia, EC viewing footage of his speech

Last Updated 22 April 2014, 13:51 IST
VHP leader Pravin Togadia faced twin trouble with an FIR being lodged against him for "inciting communal passions" and the Election Commission today examining video footage of his alleged "hate speech".

The FIR was registered in Bhavnagar charging him with asking the locals of a society here to forcibly occupy a house purchased by a Muslim man in Hindu majority area.

"An FIR has been filed against him under sections 153(A), 153(B) and under 188 for violating notification of the Election Commission," District Collector and Returning Officer P K Solanki told PTI here today.

Section 153(A) of the IPC deals with 'intention to cause disorder, promoting enmity between religious groups and incite people to violence'. Section 153 (B) of the IPC deals with those, who asserts, propagates or publishes that any class of persons by reasons of their being members of any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community be denied, or deprived of their rights as citizens of India.

Section 188 deals with disobedience to order duly promulgated by the Election Commission by way of its notification of elections.

Togadia had allegedly asked his supporters to get vacated the house a Muslim man had purchased in the Hindu-majority locality near Meghani Circle area of Bhavnagar city.

On Saturday, Togadia had allegedly told the gathering, mainly comprising local residents and Bajrang Dal workers, that they should give an ultimatum of 48 hours to the occupant to vacate the house or else they should storm into it, take possession and put up a Bajrang Dal board.

Bhavnagar Police had initiated an inquiry yesterday into the alleged hate speech following the Election Commission orders.

However, the VHP leader had termed the media reports "false, malafide and mischievous" and has denied giving any advise which was "socially or legally wrong".

In Delhi, the EC said it was in the process of examining the video footage of controversial remarks of Togadia and will soon take a decision on issuing show cause notice to him.

They said if prima facie found guilty of violating the Model Code of Conduct and electoral laws, he could be served with a show cause notice.

In a series of tweets today, BJP prime ministerial nominee Modi disapproved of the '"petty" statements.

"Petty statements by those claiming to be BJP's well- wishers are deviating the campaign from the issues of development and good governance.

"I disapprove (of) any such irresponsible statements and appeal to those making them to kindly refrain from doing so," Modi said without naming anyone. 
(Published 22 April 2014, 10:50 IST)

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