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FIR against Hindu Mahasabha Members for 'Derogatory' Pamphlets on Mahatma Gandhi; No Arrests Yet

Representative image.

Representative image.

The pamphlets distributed on November 14 in the Daulatganj area of the city also praised Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse.

Gwalior: An FIR was registered against some activists of Hindu Mahsabha for allegedly distributing pamphlets containing "objectionable words" about Mahatma Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior, police said on Saturday. No arrest is made so far.

The pamphlets distributed on November 14 in the Daulatganj area of the city also praised Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. On Friday, the Mahasabha had observed Godse's death anniversary and demanded that his statements during the assassination trial be included in the school curriculum in the state.

"A day before Mahasabha activists observed Godse's anniversary, its activists on Thursday allegedly distributed the pamphlets (describing Mahatma Gandhi in an objectionable manner) in Daulatganj," said Kotwali police station in-charge Vivek Ashthana.

He said the FIR was lodged by one Ravindra Singh Chouhan alleging that the language used in the handbills had hurt the sentiments of Gandhians. A case has been filed against Mahasabha members Naresh Batham and others under Section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Gwalior Zone, Raja Babu Singh said police are going through the video footage of the Mahasabha's Friday programme to observe Godse's death anniversary.

When contacted, Mahasabha national vice-president Jaiveer Bharadwaj said registration of the case shows the "dictatorial attitude" of the Congress-led government in the state.

"I am not aware of the case, but we will present our side in court of law. We will also hold programmes like the one organised on Friday inside our houses. We have rights to organise 'Puja' in our houses," Bharadwaj said.

Mahasabha members had performed 'aarti' of Godse and Narayan Apte, the co-conspirator who too was hanged for Gandhi's assassination, at their office in Gwalior.

Godse was hanged at Ambala jail on November 15, 1949. On November 15, 2017, the Mahasabha had installed a bust of Godse at its office here after performing the ritual of 'pran pratishtha' (consecration). It was removed by authorities following a furore.