Gujarat police arrest Mufti Salman Azhari from Mumbai in ‘hate speech’ case

Mufti Salman Azhari. [Photo: X]

Mumbai: The Gujarat police have arrested renowned Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari from Mumbai in connection with an FIR registered against him for allegedly delivering a “hate speech”, PTI reported quoting officials on Monday.

Maulana Azhari is a Sunni research scholar and motivational speaker from Mumbai. He is the founder of Jamia Riyazul Jannah, Al-Amaan Education and Welfare Trust, and Darul Amaan, according to his X (formerly Twitter) bio.

The news agency report said that the alleged speech was delivered at an event held on an open ground near the ‘B’ division police station in Gujarat’s Junagadh city on the night of January 31.

After a video of it went viral, an FIR was registered against Azhari and local organisers Mohammad Yousuf Malek and Azim Habib Odedara under Indian Penal Code sections 153B (promoting enmity between different religious groups) and 505 (2) (making statements conducive to public mischief), police said.

Malek and Habib were arrested on Saturday, and Mufti Azhari  on Sunday in Munbai, reports said quoting Gujarat police.

He was being brought back to Junagadh after securing a transit remand from a court in Mumbai, Junagadh crime branch police inspector J J Patel told PTI.

Quoting Wahid Sheikh, lawyer of Mufti Azhari’s lawyer, a report by ANI, said, “35-40 policemen in civil dress were present at Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari’s house in the morning hours. We asked them about their purpose for coming, but nothing was informed. After coordinating with Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari they (police) said that a case has been lodged under 153 B, in Gujarat. Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari came to the police station with them and also cooperated but there is no reply yet…Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari is ready to cooperate but the police are not giving any reply…”

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