Self-proclaimed Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati has strongly supported his follower Shringi Yadav, who was arrested for beating a 14-year-old boy who entered the temple compound, reported the Times of India.
TOI quoted the ‘Maharaj ji’ (Yati) shamelessly saying, “I had trained my followers well to give a befitting reply to trespassers from a specific minority community, and all they did on Friday was they were following my instructions.”
He also added, “We have put up a notice outside the temple gate that people from minority communities are not permitted here. This is known to everyone in the area and yet this boy entered on the pretext of drinking water.”
Yati Narsinghanand also justified the assault on the young boy by saying that similar instances of trespassing had been dealt with an “iron hand” in the past, as per some media reports.
According to the Times of India, speaking at a press conference on March 15, Yati expressed remorse only at the fact that the thrashing was recorded and posted on social media, which resulted in a furore. He said, “Yehi to gadbad ho gayi, unhe record nahin karna chaiye thha.” (This was a mistake, they should not have shot the video.)
Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of Alt news had shared the video where a Hindu man can be seen hitting a young Muslim boy on his twitter account and had tagged Ghaziabad police. Within an hour, Ghaziabad police responded to Zubair’s Twitter post stating that they had arrested Shringi Nandan Yadav, after taking cognisance of the said video, and that proper action has been initiated against him under law.
उपरोक्त वीडियो का तत्काल संज्ञान लेकर टीम गठित कर मार पिटाई करने वाले व्यक्ति- श्रृंगी नंदन यादव पुत्र अश्वनी कुमार यादव निवासी गोपालपुर थाना संवारा भागलपुर बिहार को हिरासत में लिया गया एवं मुकदमा पंजीकरण/वैधानिक कार्रवाई संबंधी प्रक्रिया प्रचलित की गई pic.twitter.com/QBYdMI741O
— GHAZIABAD POLICE (@ghaziabadpolice) March 12, 2021
“The main accused, Yadav, was arrested immediately after the incident. His accomplice who recorded the video of the assault was arrested a couple of hours later. Yadav is from Bihar and came here about six months ago. He is the chela (disciple) of Mahant Yati. Shivanand is from Delhi,” Ghaziabad Superintendent of Police (Rural) Iraj Raja told ThePrint, adding that this is the first criminal complaint registered against both the accused persons.
Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati had allegedly made repeated hateful and inflammatory statements against Muslims in the run up to the North East Delhi riots of February 2020, which resulted in the deaths of 53 people, as reported by The Wire.
Recently, on March 10, Citizens for Justice and Peace approached the Ministry of Minority Affairs and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology with a complaint against Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, for his offensive and discriminatory speech online, selectively targeting the Muslim community.
Meanwhile, the boy’s father Habib Ahmed told TOI, “We had gone to hospital to get X-rays of his head, arm, and thighs done. He is not well and groans in pain at night.”