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New Delhi: On April 2, 2022, Mahant Bajrang Muni Udasin, priest of the Badi Sangat Ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district, threatened mass sexual violence against Muslim women in the presence of the police on the occasion of the Hindu new year.
Son of a former sub-inspector in the Madhya Pradesh Police, Udasin was formerly called Anupam Mishra. He claims to have graduated with a BBA degree and worked for Jet Airways before deciding to “work for his religion”, Bhaskar had reported in 2017.
The mahant is the chief priest of the Badi Sangat Udasin ashram in the Khairabad area. Sitapur Police released a statement that an FIR has been registered against Udasin under relevant sections and on the basis of available evidence, legal action is being ensured.
The National Commission for Women also took serious note of the viral video and released a statement saying that its chairperson, Rekha Sharma, has written to the Uttar Pradesh director general of police to immediately register an FIR against the accused. “NCW has also written seeking appropriate measures from police to curb people from using such outrageous language for women and not be a mute spectator in such incidents. A copy of the letter has also been sent to SP Sitapur,” read the statement. Talking to ANI, Sharma said, “People talking like this in public about raping women of a certain community is not acceptable. We have written today itself to UP DGP and I’m going to take up this matter personally with him; whether they are religious godmen or anybody, they should be taken to task.”
“If you harass one Hindu woman, then I will openly abduct your sisters and daughters and rape them,” the mahant had threatened. “The people in the pigsty (referring to a Muslim neighbourhood) who collected Rs 28 lakh for my murder should know that neither you nor your pigsty will be spared,” Udasin said from inside his jeep, with the police standing nearby. He did not provide any evidence of this money apparently being collected to kill him.
On the same day, addressing hundreds of supporters, Udasin also provoked the crowd and threatened “Mullas” (Muslims). He raised the slogan of “Jab Mulle kaate jayenge, Ram Ram chillaenge“, which was popularised by the Jamia shooter during a Hindu Mahapanchayat in Haryana and then at the Jantar Mantar event attended by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay.
Udasin said, “Rs 28 lakh have been collected at Sheeshewaali masjid to murder me. They don’t know that if I am murdered then for the next 100 years in Khairabad, Mulle kaate jayenge aur Ram Ram chillaenge”. He also asked Hindus to “sing praises of prabhu (god)” and to “make these mullas sing them too”. He further threatened the Khairabad Municipal Corporation staff and said, “Don’t even dare to mess with Hindus or you and your pigsty will cease to exist.”
Locals told The Wire that on April 2, Udasin had come in front of the Sheeshewali mosque in the Khairabad area for a religious event.
In another undated video, Udasin can be heard issuing similar threats of sexual violence against Muslim women while addressing a large crowd of his supporters. Threatening to kill Muslims, he said, “Even if I die, I will leave so much heat in the Hindus of this place that they will turn Khairabad into Sri Ramnagar. And I say this openly, if you kill one Hindu, I will kill 10 Muslims.” He further threatened to abduct Muslim women and said, “If you commit atrocities on one Hindu girl by trapping her into love jihad, I will trap 10 Muslim girls into love sanatan and persecute them. You will dupe them but I want to say this openly that I will abduct them in broad daylight.”
He also threatened to grab Muslim’s land and said that if they capture one hectare of land from Hindus, then he will capture 10 hectares. He threatened violence against Hindus who vote Muslims and said, “If a Hindu asks you to vote a Muslim then assault them with shoes. In this era, traitors like Jaichand will be punished in this life only.”
There was police present at this event as well, as the mahant acknowledged their presence and said, “There are people from the law and administration present here but I want to say this openly – if any wrong is done to our women then just like they (Muslims) don’t follow the constitution and follow Quran, we will also not follow the constitution.”
In another undated video, Udasin can be heard threatening the rape of Muslim women while addressing a crowd in the presence of the police. He said, “If any Mulla troubles our women, then I will openly abduct his sister/daughter, take her to Sangat and will ensure she is raped.”
On February 16, 2021, there was an alleged altercation between Udasin and a group of Muslims over the possession of some land near the ashram, leading to clashes in which people from both sides were injured. Udasin was admitted to the Trauma Center in Lucknow for treatment. He had then accused the circle officer, City of Sitapur, Piyush Kumar Singh, of plotting his murder.
The monk has a history of threatening violence against Muslims and Christian minorities. In an old video uploaded on December 19, 2016, he issued a last warning to “Mulles” and Christians to “learn a lesson”. Otherwise, he said, “One Dara Singh shook America and one Pragya Singh (Thakur) shook the Muslims of entire India. There are many monks like them who can annihilate you.” He further warned them that they will be annihilated not only from India, but from the entire world.
Dara Singh was an alleged member of the Bajrang Dal who is now serving a life sentence for leading a mob on January 23, 1999 in Orissa and setting fire to the station wagon in which the Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two children were sleeping. Staines was burnt to death along with his two sons – 10-year-old Phillips and seven-year-old Timothy.
Udasin considers Dara Singh to be a “godman”. On January 23, 2017, the 18th anniversary of Staines’ murder, Udasin celebrated what he called “Vijay Diwas (Victory Day)” with a garlanded photo of Dara Singh and a weapon in his hand. Explaining his reason for observing “Vijay Diwas” on that day, Udasin said, “People celebrated Vijay Diwas when Prabhu Shri Ram returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravan. Similarly, it was today that Dara Singh handed over that sinner and demon Graham Staines to Agni Devta.” He also appealed to Hindu monks to declare Dara Singh a Shankaracharya.
On the Twitter ID in the mahant’s name, where his videos are available, there is a poem glorifying the murderers committed by Dara Singh. “Dara had enough of Graham Staines and so he set him on fire. Then came Rehman whose dirty blood was spilled by Dara. Then he went for Erol who did not believe in God. When Dara killed him, he said spare me for the sake of “Sri Ram”,” it says.
पृथ्वी पर मृत पड़े हिंदुओ के लिए अपना सर्वस्व बलिदान करने वाला सबसे बड़ा जीवित धर्मयोद्धा!! @myogioffice @myogiadityanath @PMOIndia @AmitShah @rashtrapatibhvn @DrMohanBhagwat pic.twitter.com/yTg41IvGX6
— महंत बजरंगमुनि उदासीन (@H8cHqHp9xHTwfNq) January 28, 2022
Along with threatening violence against common Muslims, Udasin has also threatened violence against influential Muslim leaders. In a video uploaded on June 29, 2017, Muni can be heard provoking violence against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. He announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh if “any soldier from the Indian Army chops off Azam Khan’s tongue”. In several videos, he is seen armed with an axe.
Before the Supreme Court declared the Ayodhya title dispute verdict on November 9, 2019, Udasin on December 10, 2018 advocated for violence and murder in the pursuit of the Ram Mandir. He said that peaceful ways have been used till now but they have not been successful and hence he believes that the construction of the Ram Mandir won’t be possible unless Hindus pick up weapons. “Ram Mandir won’t be constructed unless Hindus pick up weapons and reach Ayodhya by making a stair of the corpses of people who come in the way of Ram Mandir,” he said with a weapon in his hand.
In another event in Pratapgarh on June 23, 2019, addressing the media, Udasin said that the Ram Mandir won’t be constructed unless “Hindus become violent”. “Ram Mandir won’t be constructed unless Hindus pick up weapons and make a stair of the corpses to reach Ayodhya,” Muni repeated his call for murder.
Before this too, Udasin had called for violence for the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Addressing a meeting of the Bajrang Dal on December 6, 2018, the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, in Pratapgarh, he asked Hindus to be fearless and said, “Whoever obstructs the construction of Ram Mandir we must behead them and make a stair of their heads to Ayodhya and build Ram Mandir.” In the same event, he asked Hindus to make Pragya Singh Thakur, Dara Singh and Babu Bajrangi their ideals and said, “Ram Mandir won’t be constructed unless Hindus become murderers.”
In another video from August 15, 2017, addressing a meeting of the Bajrang Dal, Udasin advocated for violence for the construction of a Ram Mandir and said with a weapon in his hand, “Our religion won’t be defended unless Muslims are cut.” On another occasion in a video uploaded on February 3, 2020, he asked Hindus to pick up weapons in order to “kill Vidharmis”.
In yet another video from 2017 addressing Muslims, he said, “Drink milk from your mother’s breasts for the final time, saints won’t give you another chance…” Threatening one Yasmin Arora Munshi for her apparent comments against cow vigilantes, he said, “Let that prostitute who called cow vigilantes as eunuchs come out of jail, we gaurakshaks will prove our masculinity by making her pregnant…”
In another video from last year, Udasin claimed to have caught Momin s/o Munna Khan and Anwar s/o Mehdi Khan littering around what he called a sacred place for Hindus. On video, he addressed Muslims with the choicest of slurs and threatened to shoot them and dump their bodies in the river. He warned the local administration to take action against Muslims allegedly littering the sacred place or, he said, “I will immediately kill five Muslims and only the administration will be responsible.”
Udasin is also connected with at least three of the organisers and key speakers of the Haridwar Dharma Sansad, where calls for genocide of Muslims and for waging war against the government were made. Waseem Rizvi, after converting to Hinduism and changing his name to Jeetendra Narayan Singh Tyagi, visited Sitapur on December 15, 2021, when Tyagi and Udasin addressed a press conference together. Quoting his controversial book, Tyagi claimed that Prophet Mohammad gave birth to a terrorist organisation called Islam. “A demonic force took birth on the land of Arabia 1400 years ago. Today it has become the centre of terror all over the world,” he said.
Udasin has multiple pictures with Anand Swaroop, the man who called for a war against the Indian state if the Dharma Sansad’s demands are not met. Anand Swaroop released a video in solidarity with Udasin and said that in Muslim-majority Khairabad, Udasin is saving Hindus from love jihad. Appealing to people to pay attention to Udasin’s words, he said, “Mahant Ji said if you do something to our women, then we will also do the same to your women. What’s wrong in what he said?” He also threatened the Sitapur Police and said that if anything happens to Udasin, monks from Haridwar will go to Sitapur and the police will have to face heavy protests. He called Alt News fact-checker Mohammad Zubair an “Islamist” and asked people to “investigate where he lives” and “the source of his funding”.
In another video from November 19, 2018, Udasin called Haridwar Dharma Sansad hate speech accused Yati Narsinghanand his idol. Extending support to Narsinghanand’s demand for a population control bill, he issued a violent threat to the Union government and state governments and said, “I want to tell the Central and state governments that if they don’t listen to Yati Narsinghanand then monks will come out from each corner of India and will burn politicians and bureaucrats alive in their homes.”
यति नरसिंहानंद जी की गिरफ्तारी
आपकी ये बहादुरी और जांबाजी अनंत काल तक इतिहास में दर्ज होगी @AshokKumar_IPS जी
— महंत बजरंगमुनि उदासीन (@H8cHqHp9xHTwfNq) January 15, 2022
A poem dedicated to Udasin shared on social media is an explicit call for genocide of Christians and Muslims. Here’s the English translation of the Hindi poem:
“Bajrang Muni has made a vow
To get rid of mosques and churches
To restore our lost glory
To bring back Ram Rajya
To make the sacred soil of mother India free of Muslims.
To dig the graves of those who hate Mahadev (Shiva)
To tear and eat the flesh of those who say ‘India will be torn’ (Bharat tere tukde)
To show the world what true Hindu valour is
To ensure that the saga of Dara Singh (who killed Staines and his children) is chanted in every home.
To make the saffron flag, more beloved than our lives, flutter on the sun.
To make Major Upendra’s sacred uniform wave like a flag in the breeze
Bajrang Muni had made a vow
To get rid of mosques and churches.”
There are videos of Udasin leading a mob in October 2020 that brutally assaulted a man in Khairabad. A month earlier, BJP leader Saket Mishra had protested against Udasin’s alleged land grabbing and harassment of locals in the area. After an attack on his house, the BJP leader had suspected that the monk had played a role.
Kaushik Raj is a Delhi-based poet and Alishan Jafri is a freelance journalist based in Delhi.