Six Mahasabha Members Arrested For Celebrating Birth Anniversary Of Nathuram Godse In Surat
On Sunday (19 May 2019), Six Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha members were arrested for celebrating the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse at the Suryamukhi Hanuman temple in Limbayat area of Surat, Gujarat, PTI reported.
The event was allegedly organised by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. They lit lamps, distributed sweets and sang bhajan during the event. About 15 youths were invited at the temple.
Following the incident, Surat police picked Hiren Sumra, Wala Bharwad, Viral Malvi, Hitesh Sonar, Yogesh Patel and Manish Kalal, all residents of Sanjay Nagar in Limbayat. The members were later booked under IPC Sections 153 (provocation with an intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups, doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 153B (making assertions prejudicial to national integration).
“Their act of revering Godse, who had killed Gandhiji, deeply hurt the sentiments of citizens. It was an attempt to incite people and disturb the peaceful atmosphere,” told Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma to PTI.
Talking to The Indian Express, Sumra, one of the Mahasabha member who got arrested, said, “We have celebrated the birthday of Nathuram Godse, we have done nothing wrong. Like other people’s feelings are attached to Mahatma Gandhi, our feelings are attached to Godse, and we have shown this by celebrating his birthday. This is the first time that we celebrated his birthday.”
Condemning the incident, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said, “The ideology of our party and our leaders is very clear… Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his feelings very clearly… BJP does not believe in any criticism of Gandhi, his works or thoughts… So, if anybody acts like this, we strictly condemn it. Neither our party nor our leaders will tolerate any criticism of Gandhi,” reported The Indian Express.
The Godse effect was earlier evoked during Lok Sabha elections when the actor turned politician Kamal Hassan called him independent India’s first extremist and BJP candidate defended Godse by saying he is a patriot.