Togadia booked for Maharashtra hate speech

Mumbai, Feb 7 (IANS) Maharashtra Police Friday registered a case against Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia for allegedly making a hate speech in Nanded against a community in January, a top police official said.

"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 IANS.

Political sources in Maharashtra said that the union home ministry had asked the state government to confirm if VHP's international general secretary Togadia made a hate speech against a community in Bhokar town of Nanded district Jan 22.

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

Togadia has been charged under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), Section 505 (statements conducing public mischief) and Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc).

On Jan 22, at a public meeting in Bhokar, Togadia allegedly took pot shots at Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi for the latter's hate speech.

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