Yati Narsinghanand booked for comments on former president

The priest from the Dasna Devi temple was allegedly seen on social media calling APJ Abdul Kalam a ‘traitor’ and other offensive terms.

The controversial priest of the Dasna Devi temple in UP’s Ghaziabad, Yati Narsinghanand is well known for making reportedly anti-Muslim statements, however, this time he reportedly made offensive comments on one of India’s former presidents, APJ Abdul Kalam.

In the short video clip, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati can be seen making derogatory remarks about the much-revered former president while also using derogatory language to target Muslims. The following is an excerpt from his speech.

“APJ Abdul Kalam is one of the biggest traitors in India. APJ Abdul Kalam is one of those people who are ghaatak (prone to violence); the world should not have such people. He was not very special, did not have a PhD and was given just an honorary doctorate. The thing is that Muslims like APJ Abdul Kalam are more violent than ‘ordinary jihadis’. Traitors like him, we (Hindus) can’t accept it as a weak community. People like APJ Abdul Kalam are like the rakshasa.”

Narsinghanand has been at the centre of a slate of controversies in the past. An FIR was registered against him based on the video clip; this was confirmed to the media by Commissioner of Police Ajay Kumar Mishra. For the comments on former President Kalam, the Ghaziabad police have booked him under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 295A, 505(1), and 67 of the IT Act.

According to Navbharat Times, the Deputy Commissioner of Police revealed that the video went viral on Twitter on September 7, 2023.

In his defence, Narsinghanand has allegedly claimed that the video in question is nearly a decade old and has been circulated multiple times over the years. He has also further stated that he already faces three pending cases related to this same video, and that people who have interests against him keep circulating the video to get him in trouble.

Narsinghanand has been no stranger to controversy. As per a report by the BBC from 2022, the police told the BBC about some of the details from ten out of the more than 20 cases lodged against Narsinghanand which comprise of a wide array of charges, including attempted murder, abetment of suicide, and dacoity. Maa Chetnanand Saraswati, who is reportedly a priest at the Dasna Devi Temple and also Narsinghanand’s lawyer, told the BBC that these cases are politically motivated.

Anil Yadav, a man reportedly closely associated with Narsinghanand, also informed the BBC that these cases are ‘like our jewels. That’s no problem.’ However, when the BBC asked Narinsghanand himself about the cases, he reportedly became agitated and threw his mic away.



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