Waris Pathan, an Ex MLA of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM ) from Byculla in South Mumbai, has come under fire for his provocative speech in a recent anti-CAA public meeting held in Kalaburagi in Karnataka, with police registering an offence against him.
Based on a police complaint filed by a lawyer, Kalaburagi Rural police have booked Pathan under Section 117 (Abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons), Section 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), and Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code.
Similar case has been filed against him at Andheri Police station in Mumbai by Prithviraj Mhaske, Convenor of “Sangharsh” a social outfit.
Also a criminal complaint has been filed in a Bihar court against AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Pathan over the latter’s controversial remark that ’15 crore Muslims can be heavy on 100 crore’ (implying Muslims can easily take on majority Hindus). The complaint has been lodged by advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha in the court of Muzaffarpur Chief Judicial Magistrate Mukesh Kumar, who has posted the matter for hearing on 4 th March.
Morchas were organised in different parts of Maharashtra by BJP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and other parties condemning the speech. In Aurangabad, the morchas were organised by BJP and MNS and an effigy of Pathan was burnt. While BJP MLA Atul Save led the BJP’s morcha, former MLA MNS Harshwardhan Jadhav led the morcha organised by the MNS.
When asked by media on Saturday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh asserted that an action will certainly be taken against Pathan for his controversial speech.
Pathan, while addressing the meeting in Kalburgi organised as a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), had stated that “We are just 15 crore, but we can be heavy on the 100 crore,” referring to the Muslim and Hindu population in the country, respectively.
“We have to go out and seek freedom together. We are those who are asking for freedom. If we don’t get it, we will snatch it! The time has come. They are saying, we are sending our sisters out, we are sending the women. “Arre bhai, only the lionesses have come out, and your people are sweating. Imagine if we came out together,” Pathan said apparently referring to anti-CAA agitations spearheaded by women at Shaheen Baug (Delhi) and Mumbai Baug (Nagpada,South Mumbai).
Maharashtra Opposition leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis demanded strict action against Pathan and asked would such hate speech be tolerated even an Islamic country. ? However Maharashtra minorities commission chairman and NCP leader Naseem Siddiqui, while condemning the incident, said that AIMIM was moving on the same lines of dividing the country like BJP. In fact AIMIM is a B team of BJP he claimed.
AIMIM’s Maharashtra unit chief and Aurangabad MP Imtiyaz Jaleel said that the party do not support the remarks by Pathan. The party will seek explanation from Pathan and may issue dos and don’ts that have to be followed by party leaders while delivering speeches.
After his speech sparked a row, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi sought an explanation from Pathan and reported that the party is considering issuing an advisory about what party members can say in their speeches. Besides Pathan was barred from speaking to media. The case against Pathan comes two days after a 20-year-old student in Bengaluru was arrested for saying “Pakistan Zindabad” at an anti-CAA held in Bengaluru where Asaduddin Owaisi was also present. The student, Amulya Leona, has been booked for sedition and is currently in judicial custody.