A Mathura-based sadhu has allegedly threatened to beat up Hindus who don’t keep “a sword or a rifle at their home” and not allow them to practise their religion.
The alleged threat by Sant Yuvaraj Maharaj, who runs the little-known Hindu Sena from his Braj Dham Ashram in Mathura City, comes 18 months after some sadhus had urged Hindus to take up weapons against Muslimsat a Dharam Sansad in Haridwar.
However, Yuvaraj claimed he wanted Hindus to keep weapons “not for violence but for the purpose of worship”. Some of the Haridwar speakers were arrested and booked in hate-speech cases.
While swords can sometimes be a feature of some Hindu festivals such as Ram Navami, rifles are not known to be so.
“I will beat up those Hindus who don’t have a sword or a rifle at their homes,” a man resembling Yuvaraj appears to be saying in Hindi in a video circulated on social media. “In that case I shall not give them permission to practise Hinduism.”
The speaker does not explain why anyone would need his permission to practise their religion.
Yuvaraj on Thursday told reporters that he was indeed the man in the video and confirmed the comments, daring anyone to harm him.
Mathura superintendent of police Trigun Bisen said: “We have a copy of the video. Action will be taken against any guilty person after the inquiry is complete.”
The speaker in the video says he is selling swords priced at Rs 1,250 from his ashram, adding that he would sell them at a discounted price of Rs 800 to members of the Valmiki community, a Dalit group.
Last December, Mathura police had arrested Yuvaraj from Vivek Vihar in New Delhi and seized 40 swords from him. The police had alleged that the sadhu was looking to sell the weapons to people who would agree to attack the Shahi Idgah Masjid, located beside the Krishna Janmasthan temple in Mathura. He was granted bail after a few days.
Yuvaraj had also been booked last November on the charge of spreading communal hatred after a video purportedly showed him making derogatory remarks against the Shahi Idgah.
In the latest video, the speaker says: “I also have a mantra for women’s safety. Our mothers and sisters can buy it from me for Rs 500.”