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New Delhi: Militant Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati took a 10-year-old Muslim boy to police for questioning after he inadvertently entered the Dasna Devi temple – the very same temple for entering which a minor Muslim boy was viciously assaulted in March, 2021.
The boy told police that he had come to the area to visit his pregnant sister-in-law admitted to the community health centre (CHC) adjacent to the temple. He said that he accidentally entered the temple but was caught by the management and handed over to police.
“After verifying the veracity of the boy’s statements, he was allowed to go,” police said.
Superintendent of Police (Rural) Iraj Raja told PTI that the boy’s family had shifted here last year and he was not familiar with the area and therefore, entered the temple inadvertently.
Narsinghanand, on whose proclivity for hate speech The Wire has extensively reported, released a video on social media in which a policeman is seen holding the hand of the Muslim boy while the Hindutva leader speaks on the incident.
In it, Narsinghanand, who is the priest at the temple, is heard saying that the boy was sent to snoop on him and that the boy’s community has “trained killers” of his age. He also accuses the boy of entering the temple to “carry out a recce”.
Curiously, Narsinghanand stresses that the boy was “not slapped or anything”.
A clip of the video can be seen here. There is, however, nothing in the video to indicate how temple management came to realise that the boy was indeed Muslim or whether the minor was subjected to interrogation.
Earlier this year, as the horrific thrashing of the minor Muslim boy near the same Ghaziabad temple sent shockwaves around the country, Narsinghanad had praised his follower Shringi Yadav for giving a “befitting reply to a trespasser”.
This time, the militant Hindutva leader added that he wanted to tell Chief Minister Adityanath and all senior police officers that a conspiracy was being hatched to kill him.
SP (Rural) Raja, meanwhile, told PTI that the management of Dasna Devi temple was not allowing police personnel conduct frisking and identity card checks for devotees coming to the temple during the ongoing Navratri festival.
Raja said that 50 policemen are deployed to provide security to Narsinghanand.
The Wire has earlier published investigative reports on how hate speeches by Narsinghanand and his associates played a crucial role in radicalising rioters who eventually unleashed a bloodbath in North East Delhi in February 2020.