The ‘re-assassination’ of Mahatma Gandhi

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Aligarh: Five people have been arrested for allegedly burning an effigy of Mahatma Gandhi, in an enactment of his assassination on his death anniversary, officials said on Thursday. The suspects, allegedly belonging to the right-wing All India Hindu Mahasabha, fired at the effigy before setting it ablaze on Wednesday, police said.

They shouted slogans against Gandhi and in praise of his killer Nathu Ram Godse during the act, a video which surfaced later suggested. The charges against the men include promoting hatred and disrupting harmony, police said.

A purported video of the enactment of Gandhi’s assassination was circulated on social media, with the right wing-group drawing massive condemnation. Police on Wednesday registered a case against 13 people, including the group’s national general secretary Puja Shakun Pandey, who was seen firing at the effigy in the video, the officials said.

Members of the Hindu Mahasabha 'celebrate' Gandhi's assassination on Wednesday. Twitter @AfrozJournalist

Members of the Hindu Mahasabha ‘celebrate’ Gandhi’s assassination on Wednesday. Twitter @AfrozJournalist

“We are taking this matter seriously and action will be taken against all those found guilty,” Aligarh’s Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhary said. Two of the accused, Manoj, who had set the effigy on fire, and Abhishek were arrested on Wednesday, another officer said.

“This morning, we arrested Gajendra, who is locally called ‘Vakil saheb’. He had also opened fire at the effigy along with Pandey,” Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Kumar Jadaun told PTI.

“Two more accused were arrested later this evening. They have been identified as Harishankar Sharma and Rajeev, the tall man with a beard and black jacket, as seen in the footage,” he said.

They have been booked under the Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), 147, 148, 149 (related to rioting), Jadaun said.

SSP Kulhary said a police post in-charge has been suspended and the episode appears to be a “failure” of the local intelligence unit. “The officials concerned have been asked for a response over this,” he told a private news channel.

The SSP said the group had carried out the act in their private premise and not in a public case and had itself circulated the video on social media. Meanwhile, the website of the All India Hindu Mahasabha was reportedly hacked Thursday evening by a group calling itself ‘Kerala Cyber Warriors’.

“Gandhiji always remained an inspiration for people globally to follow right path, the path of non-violence in all their actions. Nobody can hurt me with my permission. An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. (sic),” read messages on website.

After Gandhi assassination reenactment, Kerala Cyber Warriors hack Hindu Mahasabha site

The website was hacked by Kerala Cyber Warriors, according to a message uploaded to the site.

  • TNM Staff
  • Thursday, January 31, 2019 – 16:44

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A day after members of the Hindu outfit Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha were caught on video carrying out a reenactment of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on his 71st death anniversary, the outfit’s website was hacked. The website, as of 3.45 pm on Thursday, displayed a black screen with the logo of Kerala Cyber Warriors and a message that stated that the website was hacked by a certain ‘GH057_R007.’

The hackers also wrote ‘Hindu Mahasabha Murdabad,’ adding the message: “Gandhi ji always remained an inspiration for people globally to follow right path, the path of non violence in all their actions.”

Below the message, the hackers added the quote: “Nobody can hurt me without my permission. An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind,” which was attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.

The outfit’s website was hacked a day after Hindu Mahasabha National Secretary Pooja Shakun Pandey was caught on camera ‘shooting’ at an effigy of Mahatma Gandhi with an air pistol. The incident, carried out as a spectacle and recorded on tape, took place in Naurangabad locality of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh.

According to a report in NDTV, the Mahasabha leader then told the reporters that this was a new ‘annual tradition just like the burning of Raavan on Dussehra’ that they had just begun by ‘recreating’ the assassination.

The video had triggered massive outrage with people questioning the glorification of Gandhi’s assassination and calling for action against those seen in the video.   

According to a report by news agency ANI, two people were detained and a case was registered against some members of the Hindu Mahasabha for glorifying Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.

A case has been registered under various sections of IPC against eight people and four unknown, and arrests are to be made soon, a police official told ANI.

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