MP stirs communal pot in UP

A police case has been registered against Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj of the BJP for making derogatory remarks against the Muslim community in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh elections.

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow
  • Published 8.01.17
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Lucknow, Jan. 7: A police case has been registered against Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj of the BJP for making derogatory remarks against the Muslim community in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh elections.

"The time has come to make a law for everyone on the issue of having one, two, three or four children. Hindus are not responsible if the country's population is increasing like a monster and creating problems," the saffron-robed MP said at a monks' convention yesterday at the Balaji temple at Shani Dham near Meerut city.

"I'm saying that four wives and 40 children will not be allowed. Mothers are not machines. We need to respect the mothers, whether they are Hindus or Muslims."

Meerut district magistrate B. Chandrakala ordered an inquiry on the Election Commission's instructions today. Later, Ram Kumar Singh, sub-inspector from Meerut Sadar police station, registered a complaint against the MP and Mahant Mahendra Das, the organiser of the event.

They have been booked under penal code sections 295A (outraging religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (wounding religious feelings of any person), 505-3 (offence committed in place of worship), 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration), 188 (disobedience of public servant's order), and 171H (illegal payments in connection with an election).

The last charge relates to the fact that they secured permission for a religious function but allegedly used it for political mileage and paid for its organisation. The maximum punishment under 505(3) and 153B is a five-year sentence.

Junior parliamentary affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the comments reflected the "personal view of the MP".

But Meerut senior superintendent of police J. Ravindra Gaur said: "The police took action against him because while they had permission for a religious function, they were actually doing a political programme."

Sakshi Maharaj had praised the Narendra Modi government in his speech yesterday for the "surgical strikes" in PoK last September and along the Myanmar border in June 2015.

State Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi said that Sakshi Maharaj's comments were "proof that the BJP and the Samajwadi Party together want to polarise the Hindus and the Muslims between them for votes".

He cited how the Samajwadis had sent Sakshi Maharaj to the Rajya Sabha in the year 2000.

A BJP source said that a priest in Ghaziabad district who was close to the Sangh was spearheading a campaign against "non-Hindu practices" with the support of several Union ministers and BJP parliamentarians.

The priest had been arrested during the communal violence of September 2013 in Muzaffarnagar.