Prominent Seers Slam Hate Speech at Haridwar ‘Dharma Sansad’

Prominent seers in Haridwar have condemned the provocative statements that were made at the ‘Dharma Sansad’ held recently in Haridwar (for details, see pages 8-10).

Mahant Ravindra Puri of Mahanirvani Akhada said such remarks were “irresponsible” and “damaging to the religious and social harmony of India”. The mahant, who was elected president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP) by one faction of the apex seer body in October this year, said, “Negative comments against any religion are regrettable and should be avoided.”

Niranjani Akhada seer Ravindra Puri, elected ABAP president by another faction of the seer body around the same time, said in a similar vein that “those assembled for the Dharam Sansad should have chosen their words wisely while making public comments”.

Jairam ashram peethadhishwar Brahmachari Brahmaswarup was more empathic in his condemnation of the hate speeches. “Those making such statements cannot be called seers. If seers speak such a language, people will cease to have faith in them. The speeches that were made at the Sansad have truly lowered Haridwar’s dignity.”

It is commendable that a group of seers have raised their voice against those making provocative speeches at the ‘Dharam Sansad.’ Politicians too should speak up and discourage such rabble-rousers. Their silence emboldens them and encourages others to follow suit.

Kalicharan Maharaj Arrested, Sent to Judicial Custody till January 13

Kalicharan Maharaj alias Abhijeet Dhananjay Saraag has been charged with sedition after he was arrested on December 30 for his derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi at a Dharam Sansad held in Raipur on December 26. After his alleged remarks about the Mahatma went viral and drew widespread condemnation, Raipur police apprehended Kalicharan Maharaj from near Bageshwar Dham, about 25 km from Khajuraho town in Madhya Pradesh.

After insulting the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, Kalicharan reportedly escaped from Chhattisgarh by train in the night itself. The next day Kalicharan released a video from Pallavi Guest House in Chhatarpur. After this video, the police’s cyber cell team traced the video. Three different teams of Raipur Police were sent to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi in search of Kalicharan.

An FIR was registered against him at Tikrapara police station under IPC sections 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 294 (obscene acts). Later, the police added section 124 A (sedition) too.

After his arrest, the Raipur court had sent him to police custody for two days. The police completed the questioning and presented him before Judicial Magistrate First Class Chetna Thakur on December 31. The court sent him on judicial remand till January 13.

The state Congress’s communication wing head, Sushil Anand Shukla, condemned Kalicharan’s remarks. “The use of abusive words against Mahatma Gandhi is highly objectionable. Kalicharan should first prove that he is a saint,” he said.

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