Cases registered against VHP for defying ban



Police Monday registered three cases against the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for defying a ban on its international working president Pravin Togadia from speaking directly or indirectly at a function here.

"We have registered three cases under sections 143, 180 and 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against VHP's Karnataka unit secretary Keshava Hegde and its organisers for airing a pre-recorded video clip of Togadia at their function late Sunday in violation of the ban imposed by the police commissioner and upheld by the high court," Additional Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar told reporters here.

Though Togadia was barred from participating in the group's Virat Hindu Samajotsava on the National College grounds, a 10-minute audio-video containing his speech in Hindi was suddenly flashed on two giant screens even as hundreds of people were leaving the venue.

"Showing the video clip containing Togadia's speech is a clear violation of Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi's Feb 7 order in which he banned even telecasting or broadcasting his speech in an audio-video manner to maintain peace and law and order," Alok Kumar said.

Catching hundreds of policemen on security duty at the venue by surprise, the audience heard Togadia saying that no one need teach Indians religious tolerance, as it was the way of life for Hindus since time immemorial.

In a veiled attack on US President Barack Obama's recent remarks that "acts of intolerance in India would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi", Togadia said he (Obama) should teach tolerance to those who indulge in religious conversion and acts of violence in the name of their religion.

Reddi Feb 3 banned Togadia's entry into the city for a week Feb 5-11 and his participation in public meetings or functions on the grounds that his provocative and inflammatory speeches would have grave consequences and cause breach of peace.

Dismissing the VHP's interim prayer, Justice S. Abdul Naseer of the Karnataka High Court Feb 6 upheld the ban order imposed under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in public interest.

"We have taken note of the violation and legal action will follow. We are consulting legal experts to initiate action against them," ACP Kumar said.

The organisers were also found guilty of violating the timing for the meeting, which was delayed by two hours and extended by hour till 8 p.m. - IANS