BJP leader, 5 others detained over anti-Muslim slogans in Delhi
Ashwini Upadhyay, a Supreme Court lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, and five other people have been detained over anti-Muslim slogans raised at a protest in Delhi on Sunday. Objectionable slogans were raised by a group of people during a protest at the city's Jantar Mantar over the weekend, after which the police registered a case.
Upadhyay, along with the other accused, was questioned until late Monday night. The others have been identified as Deepak Singh Hindu, Vineet Kranti, Vinod Sharma, and Preet Singh. "They all have been detained and now legal documents work is going on before making their arrest. Upadhyay reached Connaught Place Police station around 3 am and joined the investigation," a police official told TIE.
"Deepak Singh Hindu, who claims to be the president of an outfit called the Hindu Force, was detained from his house in Northeast Delhi's Karawal Nagar. A team was stationed outside Deepak's house and he was picked up around 12:40 am," according to the police.
Upadhyay and other alleged organizers of the event said the march was meant to be against "British-era colonial laws." However, in videos that were shared on social media, some men could be heard shouting slogans against Muslims. "Hindustan mein rehna hoga Jai Shri Ram kehna hoga (To stay in India, you must say Jai Shri Ram)" was one of the controversial slogans raised there.
#Delhi Police has registered an FIR against unknown persons a day after Inflammatory and anti-Muslim slogans 'Mulle Kaate Jayenge' were howled at #JantarMantar in the National capital. Smart police couldn't recognize the culprits? pic.twitter.com/Q7Ah8mkwnt— Naaved Bawa (Akhlad khan) (@BawaNaaved) August 9, 2021
The Delhi Police has filed a First Information Report (FIR) under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) against the accused people at the Connaught Place Police station. Cops also said that Sunday's event was held without due permission. They have further added relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act for violating COVID-19 guidelines.
After the controversy erupted, Upadhyay told the police he had left the venue around 12 pm. He claimed he does not know the people involved in the sloganeering. "I request the police to investigate the authenticity of the video, the place, and timing when it was made and if the videos are authentic then there should be strict action against people involved in it."
The National Commission for Minorities, which has taken suo motu cognizance of the matter, on Monday issued a notice to Delhi's Deputy Commissioner of Police, demanding action against the accused. The issue was also raised in the Parliament by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. "After all, what is the secret of the growing courage of these hooligans? They know the Modi government stands with them."