Right wing news anchor and two Bajrang Dal members booked for hate speech in Sangamner

'Hindutva News' anchor Suresh Chavhanke and two other right-wing leaders, Yogesh Manohar Suryavanshi and Vishal Bhagwan Wakchoure were booked by the Sangamner Police

Suresh Chavhanke (extreme left) greets Indian PM Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah. (photo courtesy: @SureshChavhanke/Twitter)
Suresh Chavhanke (extreme left) greets Indian PM Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah. (photo courtesy: @SureshChavhanke/Twitter)

Nadeem Inamdar

Fifteen days after Hindutva News anchor Suresh Chavhanke delivered an inflammatory hate speech in Sangamner taluka of Ahmednagar District, the Sangamner police on June 21 finally lodged an FIR against the far-right orator known for his controversial hate speeches against minorities.

Besides Chavhanke, two other right wing leaders identified as Yogesh Manohar Suryavanshi, a resident of Akole, and Vishal Bhagwan Wakchoure, members of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC ) sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 505 (2) (issuing statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes).

Suryavanshi and Wakchaure have been accused of delivering inflammatory speeches and organising a Hindutva rally on June 6.

Sangamner taluka is known for its rich syncretic traditions and is regarded as a mini sugar bowl of Maharashtra for its robust dairy co-operatives and sugar factory.

The assembly seat has been held by Congress for decades and currently, former state minister Balasaheb Thorat is the Sangamner MLA — he has been elected for the eighth time in a row and remains unchallenged since 1985.

Police sub-inspector Balasaheb Madhukar Yadav (54) who works with the confidential branch at Sangamner police station lodged the FIR on behalf of the state government.

The FIR states that he along with additional SP Swati Bhor, SDPO Wakchoure, Sangamner police station incharge Mathure and policemen Gaikwad and Sonwanje were deployed for security during Sakal Hindu Samaj Morcha held on June 6.

"On May 25, eight Hindus were physically assaulted with sharp weapons by 'Jehadi-minded' Muslims. Repeated 'anti-Hindu' incidents are happening in Sangamner taluka. The Sakal Hindu Samaj in response took out a morcha to protest against the 'increased molestation' of Hindu women and whether Hindus were safe in the cultural and historic Sangamner, attacks on Hindu cultural events and the murder of Sakshi by a 'Jehadi-minded' person. The accused delivered inflammatory speeches which could have triggered clashes between two communities and violated the terms and conditions stipulated by the police for the conduct of the morcha and also violated the Supreme Court guidelines," reads the Sakal Hindu Samaj FIR.

Chavhanke, who is the editor of Sudarshan News, had delivered an inflammatory speech during a rally organised by several far right  groups in Sangamner where he spoke on "Love Jehad" and warned that Sangamner would turn into 'Pakistan' and that muslim girls must marry Hindu boys to save themselves.

Following the speech, establishments in the city including the neighbouring Samnapur were attacked by sloganeering far right groups who resorted to stone pelting, vandalism and ransacked muslim owned shops. Police had to lathi-charge the mob to rein in the attackers.

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