Aligarh police on Wednesday, February 5, arrested Hindu Mahasabha's national secretary Pooja Shakun Pandey and her husband Ashok Pandey from Tappal, for recreating Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. Prior to this, five people were arrested for allegedly burning effigy of Mahatma Gandhi January 30.
In a video that was shared widely on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Pooja Pandey was seen shooting at the Mahatma Gandhi’s effigy with an air pistol and then burning it later at the Hindu Mahasabha office in Gandhi Park. Her husband, Ashok Pandey has also been taken into custody, said the police.
UP police has registered criminal cases against 12 people in connection with the recreation of Gandhi's assassination by Hindu Mahasabha group.
A First Information Report was lodged against nine people, including Pooja and her husband Ashok. They have been booked under IPC sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 147 (rioting), police said. Special Powers Act has also been invoked against the accused for burning the effigy.
It is not the first time that the right wing group has tried to glorify Nathuram Godse. In 2015, the group's leader, Swami Pranavananda had announced plans to install statues of Nathuram Godse across six districts of Karnataka. He also described the assassin as a patriot who had worked with the blessings of Hindu nationalist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.