Maharashtra police book VHP leader Praveen Togadia over 'hate speech'

Praveen Togadia

Under pressure from the Centre, the Maharashtra police booked Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen togadia on Thursday evening for his alleged 'hate speech' in Nanded recently.

The Centre had asked the Maharashtra government to book the VHP leader if he was found to have violated laws after probing the charges.

The Maharashtra government ordered an inquiry into the provocative speeches made in Nanded last month against members of a particular community even as the state Minorities Affairs Minister Naseem Khan demanded today that it file a case against the firebrand Hindu outfit leader.

The state government, which has assured the Centre at the highest level that it would take due legal process, was asked by the Centre to investigate allegations that Togadia made provocative speeches.

"The Home Ministry's advice is clear. Once they have confirmed forensic evidence, appropriate action as per law must be taken against Togadia," an official said in New Delhi.

Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said if Togadia's speech was inflammatory, the state government must take action against him.

The Congress government in the state has reportedly ordered forensic examination of Togadia's alleged hate speech and is now waiting for a detailed report to be able to

register a case against him for "inciting communal hatred".

At a public meeting at Bhokar town in Nanded district of Maharashtra on January 22 -- details of which are now surfacing after a video-recording was posted online -- Togadia had allegedly attacked Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi and members of a particular community.

Owaisi was sent to jail on charges of delivering a hate speech at Nirmal town in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh last month.

Naseem Khan said he had spoken to the Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil today.

"He has ordered an inquiry (into Togadia's remarks)," Khan told PTI in Mumbai.

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