Mumbai: Firebrand Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia’s arrest now looks imminent a day after the Maharashtra Police registered two cases against him for making a hate speech in the Nanded district of the state last week.
Reports, Friday, claimed that the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra is under extreme pressure to act the Hindi outfit leader and may order his arrest today.
The cases were filed against Togadia after the Maharashtra government ordered an inquiry into the provocative speeches made by him 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.
Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said on Thursday, "If Togadia's speech is inflammatory; the state government must take action against him." Law and order, he pointed out, was a state subject.
A little before the police booked Togadia for disturbing harmony and public mischief, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said, “Maharashtra has one standard for all. Whatever Togadia has said will be examined and after that whatever legal and police process has to be done, will be done."
Patil's own colleague, Maharashtra Minister for Minorities Naseem Khan also said that he had heard the speech and that "there is enough evidence to book Praveen Togadia. He is clearly trying to divide communities in an attempt to polarise them before the elections." He also urged the Congress-NCP government to register a case against the VHP leader.
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.
First Published: Friday, February 08, 2013, 08:47