Minorities panel seeks action against BJP leader for 'hate speech'

Social activist Shehzaad Poonawalla had made a complaint before the minorities panel seeking action against Rampal Singh Pundir for his inflammatory speech.

Lucknow: Following a complaint and an internal probe, the National Commission of Minorities (NCM) has held the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for Deoband assembly by-polls in Uttar Pradesh guilty of making a hate speech with the aim of dividing the voters on religious lines.

Social activist Shehzaad Poonawalla had made a complaint before the minorities panel seeking action against Rampal Singh Pundir for his inflammatory speech.

The panel will now contact Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, vide a letter seeking action against Pundir, an official said.

The NCM had taken the matter "very seriously" and a letter written by the chairman was on its way to both the leaders expecting "prompt action as per law", Praveen Dawar, a member of the panel, told IANS.

"We took the complaint in our weekly meeting on Tuesday and have set rolling the process accordingly," Dawar said.

Poonawalla, the complainant, was satisfied by the action taken by the minorities panel and hoped that the BJP leader, a former RSS pracharak, would be taken to task as per the law, so that it acts as a deterrent for people who try to incite communal passions for votes, he told IANS. 

He accused the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the state of "dragging its feet" on taking action against similar recommendations by the NCM in the past.

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