FIR filed against expelled BJP MLA Rajkumar Thukral for hate speech video: Cop
Uttarakhand election: Rajkumar Thukral, who was expelled from the BJP for contesting the election against the party candidate in Rudrapur, said the FIR against him was a conspiracy of his “rival”.
RUDRAPUR: Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajkumar Thukral has been booked by police for hate speech after a video emerged in which he is seen instigating people on religious lines, a police officer in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar district said on Friday.
This is not the first time that Rajkumar Thukral, who is contesting the election as an independent from Rudrapur after being refused a ticket by the BJP, has been accused of making divisive speeches. The first information report (FIR) against Rajkumar Thukral was filed less than a week after his expulsion from the BJP for contesting against the party candidate.
The Rudrapur Police said the FIR was registered under Section 125 of Representation of the People Act which relates to promoting enmity between classes in connection with an election.
“We received a video clip about a candidate Rajkumar Thukral’s speech. We watched the clip and found he is instigating people on religious issues. Since a model code of conduct has been imposed in the state and it reflects that he is trying to get votes by instigating people,” said Pradeep Kumar Kohli, in-charge, Adarsh colony police post of Rudrapur in US Nagar.
Kohli said someone sent the video clip to police about the BJP rebel candidate’s speech “in which he is trying to allegedly instigate religious sentiments. Police watched the clip and found the complaint genuine and lodged an FIR against him”.
Thukral denied the charge, alleging that the FIR was filed against him to build pressure.
“I am firm on my issues and I don’t find any need to bend before my rival. It is a conspiracy of my opponents but they can’t harm me because people are supporting me... I will keep working for the betterment of this constituency,” said Thukral.
The 55-year-old politician, who has represented Rudrapur in the state assembly for the last decade, was first given a BJP ticket in the 2012 election.
According to his election affidavit, he is named in a 2012 murder case registered in connection with riots in the district. The Uttarakhand government tried to withdraw the case against him but in August last year, the Supreme Court barred trial courts across the country from accepting such requests without the high court’s approval.
Over the years, Rajkumar Thukral has been in the news for video clips in which he was allegedly seen roughing up a woman who went to him to resolve a dispute, threatening a female police officer who stopped his supporter for not wearing a helmet on a two-wheeler, and declaring that he did not want Muslim votes in elections. When the video where he is seen speaking against Muslims emerged in 2019, Thukral told HT that it was a video an old video and was from October 2, 2011. “This video is after the communal riots. Rudrapur remained shut for 11 to 12 days. I was a local BJP leader at that time. I became an MLA in March 2012,” he said.