Mumbai: Activists of Maneka Gandhi's NGO booked for extorting money from pet owners

Mumbai: Activists of Maneka Gandhi's NGO booked for extorting money from pet owners

A case was registered against the activists in January for threatening and extorting money from pet owners and hurting religious sentiments.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Sunday, March 19, 2023, 10:20 PM IST
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A team from the Ghaziabad Police reached Mumbai this week to book two members of Maneka Gandhi's NGO – People for Animals (PFA) – after a case was registered against them in January for threatening and extorting money from pet owners and hurting religious sentiments by spreading hateful posts through social media.

An FIR was lodged by Ravi Vikram Bhatnagar, an animal welfare activist, on January 6. The Free Press Journal has a copy of the FIR, which states that the two accused, identified as Lata Parmar, Mumbai President of PFA and Durga Rai, an activist at PFA have made hateful posts on Facebook.

Several cases registered against activists

“Both of them have several cases registered against them for extorting money from people,” said Bhatnagar, who is a resident of Ghaziabad.

In April last year, the Sion police booked Parmar after they received complaints from pet owners regarding being threatened by the accused. Police sources said that Parmar has two cases of extortion, assault and charges of cheating against her.

“Such act of this organisation (PFA) will disrupt the sovereignty and integrity of the country. The founder of the organisation, Maneka Gandhi, seems like she aids this person to undertake unlawful activities through its members,” added Bhatnagar, who has filed more than 3 cases against the organisation and the members in Uttar Pradesh.

No arrests made in the case yet

On Wednesday, a team of police from Ghaziabad had come to Mumbai to interrogate the two accused. However, no arrest has been made in the case.

"The duo have been allegedly making objectionable posts to instigate hate and enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion. They also made racial comments against the North-East people and also provoked Nepali citizens to fight against our country,” added Bhatnagar.

Previous incidents of PFA activists getting booked

In March last year, two PFA activists – Bimlani Navani and Hema Choudhary – were booked by the MIDC police on a complaint that the activist had threatened a man to hand over his German Shepherd dog to them. A similar case was lodged in February against them for allegedly demanding Rs1 lakh. Similar cases were lodged by Jogeshwari police and Thane police for threatening and extorting money from pet parents.

In the said FIR, both of them are booked under sections including 153A (deliberately or wantonly causes or provokes any riot through illegal means), 295 (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code, relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and sections of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971 & Central Gunda Act.

FPJ tried contacting Anshu Jain, ACP of Ghaziabad Police, via calls and text messages but she didn’t respond to any.

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