FIR against Jignesh Mevani, Umar Khalid for ‘provocative’ speeches in Pune

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Pune police has registered a criminal case against newly elected Gujarat Member of Legilative Assembly (MLA) Jignesh Mevani and student leader from Jawaharlal Nehru University Umar Khalid under charges of ‘creating communal disharmony’ through ‘provocative speeches’ they delivered at Elgaar Parishad held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31.

Police has also added that they were analyzing speeches of duo in reference to complaint. Senior Inspector Appasaheb Shevale in a statement said that FIR was registered late in night on Wednesday and that Mevani and Khalid were booked under section 153A of Indian Penal Code (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and IPC sections 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) and 117 (Abetting commission of offence by the public). The FIR lists out several statements made by the two at the conference.

Hundreds of thousands of people gather at Bhima Koregaon every year to mark the anniversary of an 1818 war between the British and the Peshwa. The celebrations gathered momentum in 1927 after BR Ambedkar visited the spot and called the Bhima Koregaon battle a war against caste. Historians are divided on the subject. But this year, the celebrations have been controversial, with several right-wing groups, such as Akhil Bharatiya Brahmin Mahasangh calling the event anti-national.

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