UP: Hindu Mahasabha’s Pooja Pandey given police notice for hate speech

UP’s Aligarh second place to report unrest due to hate-filled speech after Kanpur

Hindu Mahasabha
Image Courtesy: thestatesman.com

Aligarh’s Gandhi Park police station on June 7, 2022 registered a case against Hindu Mahasabha Secretary and Haridwar hate speech accused Dr Pooja Shakun Pandey for trying to create religious enmity, reported NDTV.

According to the report in Hindi on NDTVIndia, the Additional Municipal Magistrate issued a notice against her for likening Friday prayers or jumma to terrorism. In a video that has gone viral on social media, Pandey accused those gathering for jumma actually “harassing” people from other religions.

“Hindu Mahasabha demands that during jumma namaz small masjids only allow 10 people and bigger masjids allow 25 people. Those maulanas making anti-national speech must face action under the National Security Act. Those masjids near where there are riots after sermons must be demolished by bulldozers,” said Pandey in the video.

Her words have garnered condemnation from netizens as well. Aligarh police has responded to such videos with the news of the case against Pandey.

Meanwhile, NDTVIndia said the notice against the hate-offender called her oral statements, prima facie, a malicious attempt to spread religious hysteria. This at a time when Section 144 is imposed in the area. To this, Pandey said “if someone’s feelings have been hurt by speaking the truth”. Pandey faces charges of attempting to outrage religious feelings, promoting religious enmity, making assertions prejudicial to national-integration and statements conducing public mischief.

Insensitive statements like these are already causing unrest in parts of Uttar Pradesh. Most recently in Kanpur, at least six persons were injured on June 3 after a group from the Muslim community reacted to the comments made about Prophet Mohammed by BJP leader Nupur Sharma and downed the shutters of shops after last Friday prayers. According to a syndicated feed, the State Police has booked 500 people for rioting.

As for the accused in this case, Pandey alias ‘Annapurna Bharti’ of Niranjani Akhada, she has already assured herself a name in Hindutva’s Hall of Hate-Fame. She was one of the infamous hate-mongers at Haridwar last December. In February, 2022 Pandey spoke at Prayagraj and claimed that those speeches were in the interest of the safety of religious leaders. She also defended repeat offenders Narsinganand and Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi who were under arrest at the time. The latter have been repeatedly flagged by CJP for their divisive statements.


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