Hate speech: FIR filed against Praveen Togadia

The Centre had asked the Maharashtra government to book the VHP leader if he is found to be violating laws after probing the charges.

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: As the demand for action against Praveen Togadia over his alleged hate speech intensified, an FIR was filed on Thursday against the VHP leader at Nanded district in Maharashtra.

"An FIR (first information report) has been registered against Togadia for the alleged hate speech in Nanded last month. The matter is under investigation," Maharashtra`s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Ahmed Javed told a news agency.

"If Togadia`s speech is found to be communal or offensive, action will be taken against him. This is the standard procedure," Javed said.

The police action comes after the Maharashtra government ordered an inquiry into the provocative speeches made by Togadia in Nanded last month against members of a particular community.

The state government, after being asked by the Centre to investigate into allegations of Togadia’s provocative speeches, assured it of due legal process.

"The Home Ministry`s advise is clear. Once they have confirmed forensic evidence, appropriate action as per law must be taken against Togadia," an official said in New Delhi.

At a public meeting at Bhokar town in Nanded district of Maharashtra on January 22— details of which are now surfacing after a video-recording was posted online— Togadia had allegedly attacked Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi and members of a particular community.

Owaisi was sent to jail on charges of delivering a hate speech at Nirmal town in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh last month.

The VHP leader had also triggered a controversy by making a controversial speech on February 1 near Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh.