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While in remand, third FIR filed against Mufti Salman Azhari

Jailed Islamic cleric and preacher Mufti Salman Azhari was booked in a third alleged hate speech case at Modasa in Arvalli on Friday.

The third FIR in a row was filed over a speech he delivered at an open ground in Modasa on December 24, 2023, Arvalli SP Shefali Barwal told the Indian Express.

After Azhari was arrested from Mumbai on February 5 in relation to his speech in Junagadh on January 31, on February 8, another case was registered by Kutch East police for allegedly delivering a provocative speech in Samakhiyari village.

In Junagadh and Kutch FIRs, Azhari was charged with sections 153B (promoting enmity between different religious groups) and 505 (2) (making statements conducive to public mischief) of the IPC.

In Modasa, additional charges including section 298 for uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person, and relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have also been invoked, as the police claims he made derogatory remarks against the SC community in his speech.

“We received information that Azhari delivered a speech at Modasa town on December 24, 2023. We suspected that he might have said something objectionable there as well. So, we checked videos (of his speech) and found three to four provocative statements being made. We will seek his custody from court,” SP Barwal said.

“A person named Ishaq, who had taken police permission for the event, was also booked. We will take custody of Azhari after his remand gets over in Kutch East,” the SP added.

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