Yati Narsinghanand, the religious leader who organised an event in Haridwar last month that called for the genocide of Muslims, was arrested for objectionable remarks on women, and not for hate speech, police sources told NDTV a day after his arrest.
The religious leader has been issued a notice in the hate speech case also, the source said, adding that he will be remanded in that case too.
“Yati Narsinghanand has been arrested for derogatory comments against women, not the Haridwar hate speech case right now. He has been issued a notice in that case so far. He will be remanded for the hate speech case too, the procedure is on. We will include the hate speech case details also in the remand application,” the police official said.
The current case against Narsinghanand – relating to misogyny – are reportedly “milder” as it allows him to seek bail.
Yati Narsinghanand is among the people named in the FIRs lodged over hate speeches at the Haridwar “Dharma Sansad” or religious assembly last month.
Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi, who was Waseem Rizvi before he converted, is the only co-accused to be arrested in the case so far. His arrest came nearly a month after the event, only after the Supreme Court intervention.
Over the last two weeks, the saffron-robed Narsinghanand has gone from cackling with cops about how a police officer “will be on our side” to cursing them – “all of you will die,” he said on Thursday after the first arrest.
Clips from the Haridwar event — held from December 17 to 20 — were circulated on social media and drew sharp criticism from former military chiefs, retired judges, activists and even international tennis legend Martina Navratilova.
Those who organised the event and gave the hate speeches maintain that they have done no wrong.
“I am not ashamed of what I have said. I am not afraid of police. I stand by my statement,” Prabodhanand Giri — photographed often with BJP leaders including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Dhami — told NDTV on December 23.