Saturday, February 24, 2024

Gujarat Police detain Mufti Salman Azhari in hate speech case, supporters protest

Gujarat Police on Sunday arrested Mumbai-based Islamic scholar Mufti Salman Azhari after he delivered a speech in Gujarat’s Junagadh, prompting the state police to file an hate speech FIR against the scholar, and two others.

Azhari has been kept at Mumbai’s Ghatkopar police station and hundreds of his supporters have gathered outside.

Earlier in the day, a series of posts were made from Azhari’s X handle, stating that he was detained at 11:56 am by Gujarat ATS, Mumbai ATS, and policemen from Chirag Nagar police station.

“Mufti Salman Azhari has been detained (arrested) by Gujarat ATS, Mumbai ATS and Chirag Nagar Police based on a false allegation. 25-30 policemen surrounded Mufti Salman’s society and detained them at around 11.56 AM from his residence,” read the post.

“The Police are reluctant to provide any written update and have not even issued 41 A notice till date. Acting on the basis of false allegations alleged by an extremist group does not make sense,” it added.

Azhari gave the alleged speech on the night of January 31, at an event near the ‘B’ division police station in Junagadh. After the video went viral, the police booked him, and local organisers Mohammad Yousuf Malek and Azim Habib Odedara, under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 153B (promoting enmity between different religious groups) and 505(2) (making statements conducive to public mischief).

The two local organisers have already been arrested.

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