'You Will All Die,' Yati Narsinghanand Tells Police as They Arrest Dharma Sansad Speaker

Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, formerly known as Waseem Rizvi, is the first person to be arrested in the case.

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New Delhi: The Uttarakhand Police on Thursday made the first arrest in the Dharma Sansad hate speech case, nabbing Waseem Rizvi who is now known as Jitendra Narayan Tyagi from Roorkee in Haridwar district. Police also issued notices to two other key accused, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Annapurna, for appearance before it.

All the three are named along with others in the FIRs lodged in connection with the case.

While Tyagi has been arrested, notices for appearance under Section 41 A of the CrPC have been sent to Yati Narsinghanand and Sadhvi Annapurna, Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar told PTI.

In a video of Tyagi’s arrest, Narsinghanand can be seen threatening the police and asking why Tyagi is being arrested. “Tum sab maroge (All of you will die),” he is heard saying, according to NDTV.

“I am with him in all the three cases. Did he do it alone?” he says.

As the officers say, “Tyagi is understanding the situation”, Narsinghanand replies, “But I am not. He became a Hindu counting on our support.”

Narsinghanand is the controversial priest of the Dasna Temple in Ghaziabad who had organised the Dharma Sansad in Haridwar, while Sadhvi Annapurna was one of the speakers at the event where highly provocative speeches were made against Muslims.

Tyagi was arrested from Narsan border in Roorkee, Haridwar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Yogendra Rawat told PTI. He is among more than 10 people named in the FIRs lodged in connection with the case. He was formerly the head of Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, before converting to Hinduism and changing his name.

This is the first arrest in the case. When asked whether more arrests will follow, the SSP said it will depend on how the investigation progresses.

The Uttarakhand government has been under tremendous pressure from different quarters to take action against those who had delivered the speeches at the event. Even the Supreme Court had pulled up the state government on Wednesday for not acting against the guilty though so many days have passed after the incident.

(With PTI inputs)