Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Gujarat Police has got a two-day remand of Islamic Preacher Mufti Salman Azhari from a Mumbai Court in an alleged hate speech case.
According to officials, the Gujarat Police had on Sunday evening sought Mufti Salman Azhari’s remand, and a Mumbai Court granted his transit remand to them on Sunday evening, allowing the police to take him to Junagadh.
“They (Police) had applied for his transit remand; we opposed that and we had also said that he was illegally detained. The notice that needs to be served to us as per the law wasn’t given to us…he has been sent to a 2-day transit remand. We have been told that he will be taken to Junagadh (Gujarat),” Azhari’s lawyer Arif Siddiqui told reporters.
Earlier in the day, a team of Gujarat police reached Mumbai and detained Mufti Salman Azhari in connection with an alleged hate speech case it is probing.
After he was brought to Ghatkopar Police Station, a large crowd gathered outside the police station, demanding his release.
The Mumbai Police, however, stated that the crowd had been dispersed and brought under control.
“In Mumbai, there is peace, the Ghatkopar area is also peaceful. Don’t believe any rumours. I want to tell the people of Mumbai that, for them, Police are on the road,” DCP Hemrajsingh Rajput said.
Following the arrest of Azhari, the National spokesperson of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Waris Pathan, claimed that the preacher had not delivered any provocative speech and that he must be given justice.
“The due process of law must be followed; he must be given a notice under Section 41 A. We have full faith in the law and order that we will get justice. He did not give any provocative speech; he made all the clarifications. When actual hate speeches are given, why doesn’t the government take any action then, why have no arrests been made then?” Waris Pathan said while speaking to reporters.
Mufti Salman Azhari’s lawyer, Wahid Sheikh, told the media, “Around 35-40 policemen gathered at the residence of Mufti Salman Azhari. Mufti Sahab cooperated with the police. We were told that a case has been registered against him under section 153 B (for promoting enmity between different religious groups), in Gujarat. He has now been detained illegally.
Speaking on the viral video leading to the arrest, he said that “no religious sentiments were hurt in the speech given by him, no provoked statement has been given. The VHP and RSS staged a demonstration outside a police station due to which a suo-moto FIR was registered.”
“Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari came to the police station with them and also cooperated but there is no reply yet…Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari is ready to cooperate but the police are not giving any reply…” Sheikh said.
Notably, Junagadh Police took action against Mufti Salman Azhari after a video of an inflammatory speech allegedly delivered by the preacher went viral on social media.
Azhari requested his supporters not to protest. “…Neither am I a criminal, nor have I been brought here for committing a crime. They are doing the required investigation and I am also cooperating with them. I am ready to be arrested if it is in my destiny…” he said.
The alleged speech was delivered at an event held on an open ground near the ‘B’ division police station in Junagadh on the night of January 31.