SHIMLA: Defying the conditions of the bail granted to him by a court in the Haridwar hate speech case, controversial priest Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati delivered yet another provocative address during a religious conclave at Una in Himachal Pradesh, a state where Assembly polls are due this year.
Saraswati, who is a priest at Dasna temple in UP’s Ghaziabad, has time and again called upon Hindus to “bear more children to ensure India doesn’t become an Islamic nation”. He has even been heard making unfounded claims that “40 per cent of Hindus would be killed within 20 years if they did not become strong”.
Speaking at the Una event, he reportedly made remarks against Muslims and said that Hindus should give birth to more children to protect their families, humanity and Sanatan Dharm. His remarks came a time when the country has witnessed several incidents of communal violence, with clashes in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri being latest in series.
While allowing bail to the priest, the court had directed him not to make any inflammatory speeches and refrain from attending events that could disturb harmony.
In fact, petitioners in the Haridwar hate speech case had argued during a hearing in the Supreme Court on April 13 that Yati could deliver another such speech during the three-day event in Una that started from April 17.
Yati shot to infamy over his alleged anti-Muslim hate speeches at various events.
He was recently arrested for the alleged inflammatory speech he made during a ‘Dharma Sansad’ at Haridwar in Uttarakhand, the state that went to the poll recently.
Himachal Pradesh’s Una has been in limelight after a 15-year-old Class IX girl was murdered allegedly by a newspaper vendor, Mohammed Arif earlier this month. The accused reportedly entered the deceased’s house when she was alone on the pretext of newspaper bill payment.
Currently behind bars, Arif allegedly slit the girl’s throat with a paper cutter after she resisted a molestation attempt.
Though the accused has been arrested, several Hindu outfits have since been staging protests and organising events in Una. Yati Narsinghanand’s ‘Dharam Sansad’ is the latest.
“They probably want to keep the communal pot boiling in the run-up to the Assembly elections,” said a local shopkeeper.
As per a media report, several other religious leaders also made provocative speeches at the Una event, asking Hindus to pick up arms. Satyadeva Saraswati, one of the organisers of the meeting, was quoted in a report as saying that “they didn’t believe in law, weren’t afraid of anyone and their ‘hate speech’ indeed was the truth”.