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Communalism

Anti-Muslim Slogans at Jantar Mantar: BJP Leader, 5 Others Sent to 2-Day Judicial Custody

The Delhi police had opposed the accused's release.

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New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday sent six people, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay, arrested in connection with anti-Muslim slogans allegedly raised during a rally at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, to two days in judicial custody.

Duty magistrate Tanvi Khurana sent the accused to judicial custody, considering that their bail applications were pending.

The judge also directed that the applications moved by the accused –Ashwini Upadhyay, Preet Singh, Deepak Singh, Deepak Kumar, Vinod Sharma and Vinit Bajpai – be placed before the court concerned on Wednesday itself.

The court also said, “It can be observed that the investigation is at nascent stage and the possibility of the tampering with the evidence cannot be ruled out at this stage.”

However, the court noted the submissions made by the investigating officer in the case that he wished to file a detailed reply to the bail applications.

The six accused were arrested from different parts of the Delhi-National Capital Region.

Videos showing anti-Muslim slogans being raised during a rally at Jantar Mantar here was widely circulated on social media, following which the Delhi Police registered a case in connection with the matter on Monday. Hundreds of people had attended a protest organised by ‘Bharat Jodo Aandolan’ at Jantar Mantar on Sunday, reportedly organised by Upadhyay. BJP leader Gajendra Chauhan was also in attendance.

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Shipra Srivastava, the media in-charge of the Bharat Jodo Aandolan, had said the protest was held under the leadership of Upadhyay. However, she denied any links to those who raised anti-Muslim slogans. Upadhyay too denied any involvement in the anti-Muslim slogan-shouting incident.

The rally was in opposition to “colonial-era laws” and in support of a uniform civil code.

The video shows a group of people shouting inflammatory slogans and threatening Muslims during the protest at Jantar Mantar. A reporter from the ‘National Dastak’ YouTube channel was also heckled and harassed by the crowd, which tried to force him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. When he refused, they called him a ‘jihadi’.

The Delhi police had opposed Upadhyay’s release, saying it may cause an “unruly situation”, Indian Express reported. The police also told the court that the event had been denied permission given COVID-19 protocol, but took place anyway.

“Our country is a secular country. It is the basic structure of your country. Despite that you are gathering there,” additional public prosecutor Atul Srivastava said, while reading out some of the inflammatory slogans shouted.

(With PTI inputs)