FIR filed against Union minister Gajendra Shekhawat accuses him of hate speech
Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has been registered with an FIR by the Sirohi district police in Rajasthan for his speech on September 11, in which he spoke about attacks on a Ram Navami procession. The FIR accuses the minister of deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings and promoting enmity between different religious groups. Independent legislator Sanyam Lodha has called for Shekhawat's immediate sacking and legal action against him. BJP MP Devji Patel accused Lodha of pressuring the police to register the FIR.
BARMER: A first information report (FIR) has been registered against Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by the Sirohi district police in Rajasthan in connection with the minister’s speech on September 11 in which he spoke about attacks on a Ram Navami procession.
The FIR has been registered against the minister on a complaint from a Sirohi resident, Bharat Kumar, under 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 505 (statements to create or promote enmity) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy), said Hansaram Choudhary, station house officer at in Sirohi’s city police station.
The complainant accuses the minister of delivering a speech at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Parivartan Yatra rally at Ramjharokha ground on September 11, in which he allegedly attempted to incite Hindus by falsely claiming that the Ram Navami Yatra came under attack in Sirohi and faced stone-pelting, hurling of petrol bombs, and that shops were burnt during the violence.
The FIR alleged that the minister’s speech falls in the category of hate speech and that the false claims were intended to disturb the peace and harmony of the city.
Independent legislator from Sirohi and adviser to the chief minister Sanyam Lodha said the union minister should be immediately sacked. “The people of Sirohi will not forgive the despicable attempt made by central BJP minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat… I had welcomed the Ram Navami procession with flowers in the presence of the district collector and the district superintendent of police (SP). The people of Sirohi are witness that no incident of breach of peace took place,” Lodha said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“The Rajasthan government should also take immediate legal action” against Shekhawat for spreading hatred, he added
Devji Patel, the BJP MP from Jalore-Sirohi parliamentary seat, accused Lodha of pressuring the police to register the FIR.
“Sirohi MLA Sanyam Lodha is misusing the local administration and pressurizing the police to register such false cases,” Patel said in response to a request for the BJP’s reaction to the FIR.
Patel said that he hadn’t seen a video of Shekhawat’s speech. If anything is there, then the party’s legal team will look into the matter, he added.