Hindu Mahasabha leaders detained for shooting Gandhi's effigy
Hindu Mahasabha's recreation of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination on Wednesday stirred a controversy after which two members of the right-wing outfit were detained by Aligarh police. The Uttar Pradesh police also booked nine other members. Notably, while entire country remembered the father of the nation on his 71st death anniversary, Hindu Mahasabha chose to insult him by shooting his effigy. The incident was widely condemned.
As part of the 'recreation', Pooja Shakun Pandey, the National Secretary of the outfit, pulled the trigger of an artificial gun and the effigy bled. If this wasn't insulting enough, she distributed sweets among supporters and garlanded the photo of Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi's assassin. For years now, the Hindu Mahasabha has been observing Shaurya Diwas on January 30 to 'celebrate' the Mahatma's death.
Hindu Mahasabha holds Mahatma Gandhi responsible for India's partition in 1947. They also blame him for widespread communal riots in which 'lakhs of Hindus died'. While the outfit has always celebrated his death, this year they hit a new low. Visibly proud of her actions, Pooja said she started a new tradition. She also equated his assassination to the burning of Ravana's effigy on Dusshera.
Watch: Hindu Mahasabha recreates Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination; shoots Gandhi's effigy pic.twitter.com/jhCKmvjAMe— Afroz Alam (@AfrozJournalist) January 30, 2019
After the video surfaced, an FIR was lodged against nine people, including Pooja and four unidentified persons at Gandhi Park police station. The FIR was registered under IPC Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 295 A (Deliberate act intended to outrage feelings) and 153A (promoting enmity). Circle Officer Neeraj Kumar Jadaun revealed the outfit had not taken permission for organizing the event.
"Two of the named accused, Manoj Saini and Abhishek, who are seen in the video, were detained. Manoj was seen burning the effigy in the video. The investigation would reveal who circulated the video," Jadaun added.
Despite the criticism over the macabre act, Hindu Mahasabha didn't find anything off. Spokesperson of the body, Ashok Pandey, who was also present at the event, said, "We don't find anything wrong in it because the country celebrates Ravana dahan as well by recreating the scene." He revealed Pooja, who came from Kumbh, went to New Delhi after the event.