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Second FIR registered against Cleric Salman Azhari for ‘hate speech’ in Kutch

Mufti Salman Azhari faces second First Information Report (FIR), for alleged ‘hate speech’ in Kutch, Gujarat. The second FIR was registered on Tuesday for allegedly delivering a provocative speech at a religious event at Samakhiyari in Kutch district, an official said.

Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari was arrested from Mumbai on Sunday by the Gujarat Police for allegedly delivering a hate speech at a separate event held in an open ground near the ‘B’ division police station at Junagadh, Mumbai on the night of January 31.

“An FIR has been registered against Mufti Salman Azhari for delivering a provocative speech at a religious function organized at Samkhiyari on January 31. Police permission was granted for the event, but the content of the speech was similar to that of the Junagadh event (held the same day),” Kutch (East) Superintendent of Police Sagar Bagmar said.

Bagmar said that Azhari was booked under sections 153B (promoting enmity between different religious groups) and 505 (2) (making statements conducive to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code in connection with the event in Kutch district.

The first case was lodged at Junagadh on February 3rd, Saturday, after a video of a part of his speech went viral on social media. Subsequently, he was brought to Ahmedabad by a team of the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), and later moved to Junagadh. Along with Azhari, an FIR was registered against the local organizers of the event Mohammad Yousuf Malek and Azim Habib Odedara too. While Malek and Habib were arrested on Saturday, Azhari was apprehended the next day.

The Junagadh FIR states that the arrested men had taken permission from the police for the gathering saying that Azhari would speak about religion and spread awareness on de-addiction. Instead, he made an inflammatory speech, according to the police document.

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