Delhi's Jantar Mantar area was swarmed by hundreds of people on Sunday, August 8, who raised inflammatory and anti-muslim slogans.
Following the incident, the police have arrested six people - Supreme Court lawyer and former BJP spokesperson (Delhi) Ashwini Upadhayay, Hindu Force President Deepak Singh Hindu, Vineet Kranti, Preet Singh and Vinod Sharma, head of Sudarshan Vahini.
They were detained on Monday, August 9, and brought for questioning among others at night, reported The Indian Express. As per the latest updates, several youth activists present at the event have also been detained.
March Against 'Colonial-Era Laws'
The march was about ending the colonial-era laws by implementing a Uniform Civil Code and was organised under the 'Bharat Jodo Movement' by Upadhyay. However, a group of people starting shouting inciting slogans against the Muslim community, along with chants of Lord Ram. The videos of the event were widely shared on social media.
The slogans raised were similar to what the Delhi Riots Shooter, Rambhakt Gopal, had raised in July, at an event in Pataudi, Haryana - 'Jab Mulle (a slur used for Muslims) Kaate Jayenge, Toh Ram Ram Chillayenge'. BJP leader, Gajendra Chauhan, was also present at the event.
News Reporter Harassed
In one of the day's incidents, a local media news reporter was harassed by a group of people. The anchor of the YouTube channel, 'National Dastak', Anmol Pritam, was surrounded by several persons while reporting and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram. However, he remained calm and refused to do so, for which he was called a 'jihadi'.
Event Organised Without Permission
The police took no action on Sunday but detained the men the next day after going through the available footage. Reportedly, the march was not organised with the prior permission of the police authorities. The team is conducting a raid in and around the area to nab the others involved.
One of the officers told The Indian Express that the organiser had asked for permission earlier but was rejected after the department informed them about the Disaster Management Authority's guidelines in view of the pandemic.
Later, they were told that Upadhyay was seeking permission for an indoor venue with a gathering of around 50 people, after which the police force was deployed. "Suddenly, people started gathering in small groups. They were protesting peacefully but started raising slogans while dispersing," the officer added.
Following this, the department registered a case against unknown people under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and under the DDMA Act for flouting COVID-19 guidelines.
'Don't Recognise People Involved'
During questioning, Upadhaya said he did not know any of the persons who raised songs at the event. He said the slogans were raised after the formal event was over.
He also denied organising the event and claimed he was a guest like others present. It has also been alleged that Preet Singh, who runs the 'Save India' Foundation, had organised a program called 'Bharat Chodho' at Jantar Mantar. Some people who joined the event started shouting inflammatory slogans.
"I don't have any relation with Save India Foundation Trust. I was a guest like others. We reached at around 11:00 and left at 12:00. I never met these miscreants," the media quoted Upadhayay's statement to the police. He had uploaded several images and videos of the event but reportedly deleted them.
National Commission For Minorities' Notice
The National Commission for Minorities issued a notice to the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police seeking stringent action in the matter. The commission has asked the department to furnish the information about the event.