POLITICS

The Yogi Govt In UP Has To Decide If It Should Prosecute Yogi For Hate Speech

Awkward.

23/03/2017 9:38 AM IST | Updated 23/03/2017 10:23 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Two years ago, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) police had requested permission from the state Home Department to prosecute a case involving Yogi Adityanath, who at the time was a member of the Lok Sabha representing Gorakhpur. Now, the firebrand Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician known for his incendiary speeches is the UP chief minister.

So, while the ruling party in UP might have changed from the Samajwadi Party to the BJP, the request is still pending with the Home Department, the Indian Express reported today.

Only when permission is granted, will UP police be able to chargesheet Adityanath under the Indian Penal Code's Section 153-A for "Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony."

The case goes back to 27 January, 2007 when a confrontation between Hindus and Muslims in Gorakhpur resulted in the death of a Hindu man. Adityanath is said to have delivered hate speeches calling for "revenge" for the dead man, according to the FIR, which was registered by the police only after the Allahabad High Court's intervention. The speeches were allegedly made despite a curfew and the ensuing violence lasted a fortnight, according to the FIR, the newspaper reported.

It took several years before the request to prosecute landed with the Home Department, with arguments over the FIR oscillating between the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court.

CB-CID inspector Chandra Bhushan Upadhyaya, who investigated the case, told the Indian Express that he had completed the investigation and sought sanction to file a charge sheet under IPC 153-A in 2015. He retired the same year. A CB-CID official in the current government did not comment, the newspaper reported.

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