Yati Narsinghanand Giri (formerly Saraswati), militant Hindutva leader and mahamandaleshwar at the Juna Akhara has been arrested in Haridwar, according to Haridwar City SP Swatantra Kumar

Uttarakhand police issued a public statement saying that Narsinghanand has been arrested in connection with a case pertaining to derogatory remarks against women.

These cases are pending from September 2021, when the Uttar Pradesh police lodged three FIRs against Narsinghanand under Section 505-1(C) (intent to incite), 509 (insult the modesty of any woman), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act. 

Though his arrest follows last month’s ‘Dharma Sansad’ organised by Narsinghanand at Haridwar, where a number of religious leaders made inflammatory speeches calling for violence against Muslims amounting to genocide, the authorities appear unwilling to make an issue of the calls to genocide. Narsinghanand himself at the event announced that he would give a bounty of Rs.1 crore to the ‘next Prabhakaran’ — a reference to the leader of the Tamil Tigers, officially classified as a terrorist in India, and led the congregation in an oath calling for the killing of those who were perceived to be enemies of his religion.

After the public outcry over the police’s failure to take cognisance of the Haridwar assembly, the Uttarakhand police arrested Waseem Rizvi, now known as Jitendra Narayan Tyagi. Police also issued notices against Yati Narsinghanand and Sadhvi Annapurna at the time, under Section 41 A of the CrPC. 

In a video taken during Tyagi’s arrest, Narsinghanand was heard telling the police, “Tum sab maroge (All of you will die),” according to NDTV. “I am with him in all the three cases. Did he do it alone?” he said.

In a viral video following this arrest, he was reported to have said, “We have no trust in the Supreme court and constitution. This constitution is book for the murder of 100 crore Hindus. Those who believe in it will be killed. Those who believe in this system, police, politicians and Army, They will die like dogs.”

On Friday, Shachi Nelli, an activist, had sought the consent of the Attorney General for India to initiate contempt proceedings against Narsinghanand for remarks against the constitution and the Supreme Court.

Narsinghanand has had a long history of hate speech and calls to violence, with the most notable being his involvement in mobilisation prior to the Delhi Riots of 2020, as investigated by The Wire, and has been part of a network of right wing affiliated individuals involved in hate crimes and anti-Muslim hate speech, as well as BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra and Ashwini Upadhyay (the latter was also present at the Haridwar Dharam Sansad.) 

Courtesy: thewire


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