Pune: Six booked for hate speeches against Muslims, Christians

Pune: Six booked for hate speeches against Muslims, Christians
Kalicharan Maharaj

The Pune Police have filed a first information report against Hindu seer Kalicharan Maharaj, Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, Captain (retired) Digendra Kumar, and three others for delivering hate speeches against Muslims and Christians at an event in the city.

In Pune, the speeches against religious minorities were made on 19 December on Shiv Pratap Din – an event to commemorate 17th-century Maratha ruler Shivaji’s killing of Afzal Khan, a general of the Bijapur Sultanate. The event was organised by Samasta Hindutva Aghadi.

Citing FIR, the PTI news agency reported that the speeches were intended to hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and Christians and to create a communal rift between people.

The other three men who delivered hate speeches are Nandakishor Ekbote, Mohan Shete, and Dipak Nagpure. The charges are 295 (a), 298, 505 (2), and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Cases have also been registered against Kalicharan Maharaj in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur and Maharashtra’s Akola for allegedly using derogatory words against Mahatma Gandhi in Chhattisgarh.

Another accused Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, had made provocative speeches before the caste-based violence took place in Bhima Koregaon village in 2018. No action has been taken against him so far in this matter.

This month, Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, and Pune in Maharashtra witnessed several anti-Muslim gatherings. During these events, Hindu monks and Hindutva leaders called for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims. Despite outrage and criticisms, no action has been taken against them so far in this matter.