Pune City Police have arrested controversial religious guru Kalicharan Maharaj from Raipur in Chhattisgarh in connection with the alleged hate speech during the “Shivpratap Din” programme held in Pune on December 19.
The programme was organised by Samasta Hindutva Aghadi at Natubag in Shukrawar Peth to mark the killing of Adilshahi General Afzal Khan by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1659.
A first information report (FIR) was lodged at the Khadak police station on December 28, following an analysis of the video clip of the programme.
Along with Kalicharan Maharaj, police had also booked Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, Nandakishor Ekbote, Mohanrao Shete, Dipak Nagpure and Captain Digendra Kumar under sections 295 (a), 298, 505 (2), 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
Digendra Kumar is a Kargil war hero who retired from the Army in 2005. He was awarded the Mahavir Chakra (MVC) in 1999 for his act of bravery during the Kargil war. He was among the speakers at the programme.
As per the FIR, the alleged hate speeches were made against Muslims and Christians during the programme.
Kalicharan Maharaj alias Abhijit Sarag, a resident of Shivajinagar in Akola in Maharashtra, was earlier arrested in a case at Raipur where he made derogatory statements against Mahatma Gandhi during his speech. He was recently released on bail.
Police said he also made a similar derogatory statement during his speech in Pune. Commissioner of Pune city police Amitabh Gupta said his team has held Kalicharan Maharaj at Raipur and will be produced before a court in Pune today.