Jantar Mantar Hate Speech: Amidst Supporters' Slogans, Pinky Chaudhury Surrenders to Police

Police have arrested the Hindu Raksha Dal chief. Earlier, raids had reportedly been conducted in multiple places to find him.

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New Delhi: Loud cries of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Pinki Chaudhry zindabad’ rang from a thick crowd that accompanied far right leader Pinki Chaudhury as he arrived to surrender to police in the Jantar Mantar anti-Muslim hate speech case.

The public surrender is noteworthy considering that police had been conducting raids in New Delhi and surrounding states in an effort to capture the Hindu Raksha Dal chief.

After his surrender, Chaudhury was arrested on Tuesday, August 31, at around 2.30 pm, at the Mandir Marg police station.

A video tweeted by journalist Prashant Kumar shows a garlanded Pinki Chaudhury, whose real name is Bhupinder Tomar, being carried on the shoulders of men as those around him shouted adulatory cries in his support. The video footage shows that security forces occupy the sidelines as the crowded procession appears to make its way ahead with Tomar.

Chaudhary is one of those accused of raising communal slogans at the ‘Bharat Jodo Andolan’ rally in Jantar Mantar on August 8.

In a video that surfaced online a day ago, Chaudhary was seen denying the allegations against him but added that he would surrender to police on Tuesday.

Delhi Police had registered a case after a video showing anti-Muslim slogans being raised during a protest at Jantar Mantar here on August 8 was widely circulated on social media.

The Delhi Police has already arrested eight people – Uttam Upadhyay, BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay (who was given bail within 24 hours of arrest), Preet Singh, Deepak Singh, Deepak Kumar, Vinod Sharma, Vinit Bajpai and Sushil Tiwari – in connection with the case.

The Delhi high court on Friday, August 27, had refused to grant interim protection from arrest to Chaudhary. Earlier this month, on August 21, a sessions court had also dismissed Chaudhary’s anticipatory bail application.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Anil Antil then remarked, “We are not in a Taliban state. Rule of law is the sacrosanct governing principle in our plural and multicultural society.”

The ASJ had also said that Chaudhary’s words were “impregnated with high-octane communal barbs”.

Chaudhury is close to and has appeared in press conferences with militant Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati.

He had claimed responsibility for the brutal attack on students and faculty members at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in January 2020.

(With PTI inputs)