The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday arrested Mahant Bajrang Muni Das, manager of Shri Laxmandas Udasin Ashram, days after he allegedly made a hate speech and issued a “rape threat” in Sitapur. Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said that police arrested him in Sitapur.
The hatemonger seer was arrested after police added several new charges against Bajrang, including promoting enmity between two groups, on the basis of evidence collected.
Bajrang Muni Das, the mahant of Maharshi Shri Lakshman Das Udasin Ashram in Khairabad town of Sitapur, had allegedly made a hate speech against Muslims on April 2. A video of it later surfaced on social media platforms.
In the two-minute video of the speech made outside a mosque, he could be heard using the term “jehadi” to refer to a community and threatening them if any Hindu girl is harassed by any man of that community, he would himself rape their women.
On April 8, Sitapur police had lodged a case against Bajrang, 38, on the basis of videos that had emerged on social media. Bajrang had issued an apology by evening. “To all the mothers and sisters, I would like to apologise. If my video, which is viral, has hurt them, please forgive me… I respect all women.”
Bajrang was later produced in a local court, which sent him to judicial custody, an officer said. Following arrest, supporters protested outside the ashram. To take care of any tension, PAC and local police personnel have been deployed in and around the ashram.
Questioning the delay in the arrest of the seer, the Samajwadi Party had on Wednesday called the ruling BJP the “biggest enemy of brotherhood”. “Why are police still empty handed? The government should answer. When will the bulldozer run on the accused? The CM should tell,” the party asked in a tweet. The post was followed by another tweet by SP president Akhilesh Yadav in which he asked CM Yogi Adityanath to act against the criminals hiding behind a saint’s robe.