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Ranas orchestrated Hanuman Chalisa row to collapse law and order, dissolve MVA: Cops to court

The Police filed an 18-page affidavit in reply on Friday opposing their bail pleas and further alleged that the issue was raked up to create an impression in the minds of the general public that the State government of which Shiv Sena is a part, is hostile towards Hindus and it is difficult for Hindus to practice their religion freely.

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Friday, April 29, 2022, 11:47 PM IST

Hanuman Chalisa episode 'big plot' of Ranas & BJP to challenge MVA govt, to project CM as anti-Hindu: Cops to court | FPJ
Hanuman Chalisa episode 'big plot' of Ranas & BJP to challenge MVA govt, to project CM as anti-Hindu: Cops to court | FPJ
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The Mumbai police have opposed the bail pleas of member of Parliament Navneet Rana and member of the legislative assembly Ravi Rana, saying that the couple had orchestrated the Hanuman Chalisa row, to use it as a ploy to plead the collapse of law and order in Maharashtra. This, in turn, was to become a ruse for seeking the dissolution of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

The police filed an 18-page affidavit in reply on Friday, opposing their bail pleas and further alleged that the issue was raked up to create an impression in the minds of the general public that the state government, of which the Shiv Sena is a part, is hostile towards Hindus and it is difficult for Hindus to practise their religion freely.

The Ranas have been charged under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code for sedition after they declared that they would recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree, the residence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The affidavit read: “The plan to read the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ at the private residence of the Chief Minister at Matoshree is a big plot to create a challenge to the law and order situation and to the maintenance of law and order by the Government established by the rule of law, to such an extent that the collapse of law and order can be pleaded and the recommendation can be made for dissolution of the present government by the Governor of Maharashtra.”

It further added that the reading of a religious text like the Hanuman Chalisa at a private residence without prior permission of the owner would amount to “trespass”.

It further states that one cannot threaten or challenge the government that s/he will act against the procedure established by law; instigate and incite other persons and at the same time dare the government to stop such an act, even “when the same is under the guise or veil of a chanting of religious book”.

Also, the reply stated that the words spoken by Ranas “were not within the reasonable limits of the fundamental right of freedom of expression”, and hence their act came within the ambit of offence under Section 124A.

“The words by the accused persons are clearly with an intention to bring hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the government, and with an instigation to the citizens to attempt otherwise then by lawful means, to raise discontent and disaffection amongst citizens against government to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of citizens,” adds the reply.

The affidavit alleged that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was strongly opposed to the policies of the Maharashtra government and has been criticising the Shiv Sena for its stand on Hindutva. Some independent political leaders are also raising such issues.

Labelling the Ranas as such leaders, the affidavit read: “The investigation has revealed that the accused are such persons who are strong political opponents and have taken a very smart move to make use of the sacred ‘stotra’.”

The police have claimed that the Ranas were aware that their move to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree would be opposed by Shiv Sainiks and any opposition to Hanuman Chalisa would in turn have aroused the religious feelings of Hindus. Thus, the accused wanted to incite hatred and disaffection against the government and to promote hostility among different classes of citizens, the police submitted.

The reply contended that if released on bail, the accused would try and influence and tamper with witnesses, considering their political standing. The prosecution reply also pointed out that there were 18 FIRs registered against the Amravati MLA in his constituency and seven FIRs registered against the Independent MP.

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Published on: Friday, April 29, 2022, 11:47 PM IST