As the Supreme Court agrees to urgently hear a PIL seeking criminal action in the Haridwar Dharam Sansad case, the Uttarakhand police has so far called in only two people for questioning, among the many seen giving genocidal calls against Muslims at the conclave, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the case confirmed to The Quint.
The Haridwar police had sent notices to Wasim Rizvi (alias Jitendra Tyagi) and Pooja Shakun Pandey (alias Sadhvi Annapurna) back on 29 December under section 41(a) of CrPC. Both were mentioned in the first FIR registered in the case, and only those two have been called in for questioning till now.
“So far, those two (Rizvi and Pandey) alone have been called in for questioning,” Inspector Manish Upadhyay, heading the SIT, told The Quint on Tuesday. Upadhyay said they have been called in for questioning “multiple times” and “if needed we will keep calling them later too.”
Rizvi, the former chief of the Shia Waqf Board who has converted to Hinduism and changed his name to Jitendra Tyagi, was the first one to be named in the FIR registered on 23 December 2021. Subsequently, however, four more names were added to the FIR– Annapurna, Sagar Sindhuraj, Dharmdas and the event’s organiser Yati Narasimhanand.
Then, a second FIR was filed on 3 January 2022, and a total of ten people were named in it. Besides the names of 5 accused in the first FIR, the names of Parmananda, Anand Swaroop, Ashwini Upadhyay, Suresh Chawhan and Prabodhanand Giri were added to this one.
Asked why the others, mentioned in the two FIRs and also seen making anti-Muslim speeches in the viral videos from the Dharm Sansad, haven’t been called in for questioning yet, Upadhyay said “the investigation is ongoing.”
“As and when the investigation progresses, there will be more development,” he said.
On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to urgently hear a PIL seeking criminal action with respect to the Dharm Sansad conclave.
The 5-member SIT was formed on 2 January, after much furore and outrage on social media over the contents of the speeches made at the Haridwar Dharm Sansad held between 17 December and 19 December.
Kamlesh Upadhyay, Dehradun SP (rural), who is also part of the SIT, told The Quint that the team is going through all the videos as of now. “We are watching all the videos, which is a time-consuming process. But two people have been called in for interrogation, and the rest is all part of the investigation,” she said.
ANNAPURNA AMONG THOSE SEEN LAUGHING WITH THE POLICE
Annapurna, one of the two called in for questioning by the police, was seen in a viral video laughing alongside Yati Narsinghanand Giri and Haridwar cops.
On 29 December, several of the Dharm Sansad speakers, including Annapurna and Narsinghanand had gone to Haridwar police station to register a complaint against maulanas or Muslim clerics, who they claimed to have been conspiring against Hindus.
In the video of the meeting, Annapurna or Pooja Shakun Pandey can be seen saying: "You should send a message that you are not biased,” pointing at the police officer who is holding a copy of their police complaint against the maulanas. "You are a public officer and you should treat everyone equally. That is what we expect from you. May you always win," she says.
Yati Narasinghanand, who is standing next to her, says, "Nishpaksh kyu hoga, ladka humare taraf hoga (why will he be fair, he will be on our side)."
Immediately, everyone in the room burst out laughing, including the cop– SHO Rakesh Kathait.
The Dharm Sansad seers have announced that they will be holding a protest meet against the FIRs registered to express their displeasure on 16 January– one month since the conclave.