UP: Arrest warrant issued against ex-minister Swami Prasad Maurya in 7-yr-old hate speech case

So far, four MLAs including a cabinet minister have resigned after Maurya’s exit.

Maurya (L) met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav yesterday soon after tendering his resignation from the UP cabinet.

An MP-MLA court of Sultanpur today issued an arrest warrant against former Uttar Pradesh minister Swami Prasad Maurya in a seven-year-old case related to hate speech. Maurya was with the Bahujan Samaj Party when the case was registered against him in 2014.

“Swami Prasad Maurya had to appear in connection with religious remarks he made in 2014. Allahabad High Court had granted stay on non-bailable warrant against him, it was valid till January 6. He had to appear before the court today but he didn’t. A non-bailable warrant has been issued against him. Next hearing will take place on January 24,” said Advocate Anil Tiwari.

The development comes just a day after Maurya, who was heading the Labour and Employment Ministry, resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. He is likely to join the Samajwadi Party and has said that he will reveal his future course of action on Friday.

The arrest warrant was issued by court after Maurya failed to appear before it in a hate speech case. He has now been asked to appear before the court on January 24.

Maurya’s case pertains to an alleged religious hate speech while addressing a gathering in 2014. Maurya had allegedly asked Dalits “not to worship Goddess Gauri or Lord Ganesha during weddings alleging it to be a conspiracy by the upper caste-dominated system to mislead and enslave Dalits and backward castes”. The Allahabad High Court had stayed an earlier arrest warrant against him in 2016.

Maurya met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav yesterday soon after tendering his resignation from the UP cabinet. While Akhilesh shared a photo with him and welcomed him into the party fold, Maurya later said that he would take a final call in a day or two.

So far, four MLAs including a cabinet minister have resigned after Maurya’s exit. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had yesterday claimed that 13 MLAs will resign from the BJP and join the SP along with Maurya. Those who have resigned from the BJP are MLAs Roshan Lal Varma, Bhagwati Prasad Sagar, Brajesh Prajapati and cabinet minister Dara Singh Chauhan.

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