Arif Masood
Arif Masood

BHOPAL: The Jabalpur bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday heard arguments on anticipatory bail of Congress MLA Arif Masood who has been charged with making inflammatory speech during protest at Iqbal Maidan against France President Emmanuel Macron last month. He made the speech following a row triggered by cartoons on Prophet Muhammed. The High Court after hearing pleas from both the sides has reserved the order on the case.

The police registered an FIR under Section 153 (for hurting sentiments), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC against Masood. Masood while addressing a gathering allegedly had stated: “The ministers of the Hindu leaning government also are in support of the comments made by the President of France. Along with the warning sent out to France government, we are sending out a warning to the Indian government too that if they won’t oppose the comments made by France president, then the response will be a brick to brick.”

Counsel for Masood Ajay Gupta said the speech does not hurt sentiment of any community of any religion on the basis which FIR has been registered.

Masood was granted bail for the case registered under Section 188 of IPC. In another case under Section 153 of IPC, Masood applied for anticipatory bail in district court, which was rejected. Now, he has approached High Court.

Six others accused have been already arrested under Section 153 of IPC. Police have to arrest Masood only. Those who have been arrested include ex-corporator Shawer Mansoori, Aqueel Rahman, Mohammed Shalar, Naeem Khan, Abdul Naeem and Mohammed Iqram Hashmi. The district and sessions court on November 17 issued arrest warrant against Congress MLA Arif Masood for making inflammatory speech and hurting religious sentiments of people.

In Bhopal, police forces were deployed in anticipation that Masood may surrender following High Court order.

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