Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja Pandey arrested for recreating Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination

In a video that surfaced on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Pooja is seen shooting thrice at the late leader’s effigy with an air pistol and then burning it later at their office in Gandhi Park.

Hindu Mahasabha national secretary Pooja Shakun Pandey, who was at the centre of a controversy for recreating the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, was arrested by Aligarh Police on Wednesday along with her husband Ashok Pandey.

In a purported video that surfaced on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Pooja was seen shooting thrice at the late leader’s effigy with an air pistol and then burning it later at the Hindu Mahasabha office in Gandhi Park. The ABHM members also allegedly garlanded Nathuram Godse.

An FIR was lodged against nine people, including Pooja and her husband and ABHM national spokesperson Ashok. They have been booked under IPC sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 147 (rioting), police said. Special Powers Act has also been invoked against the accused for burning the effigy.

Confirming that they have recreated Gandhi’s assassination, Ashok Pandey later said: “We don’t find anything wrong in it because the country celebrates Ravan dahan as well by recreating the scene. We have done the act inside our office premises.” “He (Gandhi) was also responsible for Partition… Over 10 lakh Hindus died,” he added.

Later, an ABHM member had filed a complaint against Pooja alleging that she was not a part of the organisation and that she misused the banner. The complaint was filed by Rajeev Kumar who was a member of ABHM, whose president is Swami Chakrapani.

Ashok Pandey, however, later rubbished the allegations adding that they were the members of ABHM, whose national president is Chandra Prakash Kaushik. “We have nothing to do with the ABHM run by Swami Chakrapani. Police had wrongly lodged an FIR against Pooja on Rajeev Kumar’s complaint,” he told The Sunday Express.

The Congress later said the incident “reflects that BJP governments at the Centre and in the state have been quietly supporting the act.” They also staged protests across the country on Monday.

 Source: The Indian Express

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