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Agra BJP corporator, three others booked for anti-Muslim hate speech
Wednesday March 2, 2016 11:00 AM, IANS

Agra: An FIR was registered against corporator and the Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kundanika Sharma and three others for hate speeches in Agra in Uttar Pradesh, police sources said.

The presence of Ram Shankar Katheria, minister of the state in Human Resource Development Ministry, and Fatehpur Sikri member of the parliament Choudhary Babu Lal has been mentioned in the FIR for alleged hate speeches in Agra on Tuesday evening at the condolence meeting for the VHP leader Arun Mahaur who was shot dead on February 25.

During investigations the two Agra MPs and MLAs could be questioned as their names were included in the FIR, the police sources said.

However, Katheria has denied the charges and questioned the authenticity of media reports.

While the local unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has criticised filing of the FIR and has resolved to take the "battle to the people", the Hindu Jagran Manch demanded arrest of those responsible for cow slaughter under National Security Act.

The Yuva Kori Samaj has announced "asthi kalash yatra" in a specially designed vehicle driven by seven horses, from Chitra Talkies area in the city to Bodla crossing, on the coming Tuesday.

The local leaders of the BJP incensed by the FIR have announced that the party workers would stage protests (dharnas) at the police stations in the district.

District president Ashok Rana said a strategy for mass mobilisation against the government action was being drawn up.

The FIR was registered on a complaint by Jaipur House colony police chowki incharge Anil Kumar alleging that those named had made provocative hate speeches to disturb communal harmony, the police sources said.

Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police Preetendra Singh said that video clip was being monitored and all those who had given objectionable remarks will be booked under the hate speeches law.

Members of the NSUI in a memorandum to the SSP have demanded action against Katheria for allegedly giving "seditious speech" targeting sections of the society.

Congress state unit secretary Shabbir Abbas has also demanded action against the minister.

On the other hand, Purushottam Khandelwal, president of the BJP Braj Prant, has said that the local administration was clearly under pressure from the state government to file a case and compelling people to take to the streets.

Meanwhile, the VHP has clarified that Sadhvi Prachi was not an office bearer or spokesperson of the parishad, after she suddenly appeared at the condolence meeting and spit venom in her speech.

"The signals are clear. Passions are being charged and the tussle is being prolonged even after the arrest of five accused in the case. A candle light march was organised at the Shaheed Smarak on Tuesday evening for the deceased VHP leader Arun Mahaur. The locals luckily have so far shown little interest in the ongoing war of words between the BJP leaders and the opposition parties," said activist Shravan Kumar Singh.

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