FIR filed against VHP leader Pravin Togadia for alleged hate speech
Zee Media Bureau
Rajkot: An FIR has been lodged against Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia on Monday for his controversial anti-Muslim remarks wherein he had said that Muslims should be stopped from buying property in Hindu-dominated areas.
However, Togadia denied making any such remarks and has sent legal notice to media houses.
While calling it a conspiracy against him, Togadia said that he was misquoted.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had today demanded Election Commission to take strict action against him and had called his remarks as anti-national.
The party also urged EC to lodge FIR against him.
Meanwhile, the EC has also sought the recording of speech made by Togadia in Bhavnagar in which he allegedly said that people from minority community should be stopped from buying properties in Hindu-dominated localities.
"They (EC officials) are in the process of acquiring the recording of the statements made by Togadia and after listening to it they will decide the future course of action," Bhavnagar District Collector and Returning Officer P K Solanki told PTI here today.
Togadia had reportedly asked his supporters on Saturday to get vacated the house purchased by a Muslim man in a Hindu locality near Meghani Circle area in Bhavnagar, around 180 kms from here.
Togadia had allegedly told the gathering, mainly comprising local residents and Bajrang Dal workers, that they should give an ultimatum of 48 hours to the occupant to vacate the house, or else they should storm into it, take possession and put up a Bajrang Dal board there.
He reportedly also asked them to demand the implementation of Distrubed Areas Act in Bhavnagar, which prevents inter-community sale of immovable property. The Act is in force in Ahmedabad and Vadodara, he said.
The VHP leader said there had been a pattern in many towns and cities in the country that first house in a locality is purchased by Muslims at a very high price, and later they keep coming to settle in surrounding house at lower price.
He also said that election is the best time to pressurise political parties to ensure safety of Hindus and people should not be afraid of pressuring either BJP or Congress.
The Muslim family, which has purchased the house, has not shifted to that locality.
However, RSS denied that Togadia has made any such statement.
RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav tweeted, "Pravinbhai had not said anything that was attributed to him. It was a fabricated news. No Swayamsevak thinks on those lines."
On the other hand, Congress and several other parties today came down heavily on Pravin Togadia for "spreading venom" through his speech.
"He always spreads venom, you know that. And he belongs to that category of people in this country who do not believe in the unity and the integrity of India. What can you say about people like this?," Congress leader and Union Minister Kapil Sibal said.
Naresh Gujaral of Shiromani Akali Dal said while he is not aware of what Togadia has exactly said, India has survived because of its democracy.
"Democracy can survive only if there is accommodation and acceptance for each other....We can`t be rigid about these things and anybody who speaks this kind of language has no place in our society," he said.
(With PTI inputs)
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