Complying with the orders of the Election Commission, the Bhavnagar police have started an inquiry into the alleged hate speech given by Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief Pravin Togadia in which he said Muslims should be stopped from buying property in Hindu-majority areas.
"We have started an inquiry into the alleged hate speech given by Togadia," Bhavnagar Superintendent of Police Maninder Singh Pawar told PTI on Monday night.
The Bhavnagar police swung into action after the EC sought the recording of Togadia's speech and directed the police to probe the matter. However, Pawar maintained no first information report has been filed against Togadia so far.
"After seeing the news reports, the poll panel asked us to submit an Action Taken Report if there is truth in the allegations against Togadia. Thus, I have ordered an inquiry and asked the 'B' division police of Bhavnagar city to acquire the CD of that speech. However, we haven't found the CD yet,"said Pawar.
"Apart from the CD, we are also collecting other evidences such as taking statements of society residents. If we find enough evidences, a case under section 153(a) of the Indian Penal Code will be filed against Togadia," said Pawar.
Section 153(a) (promoting enmity among different groups on ground of religion) of the IPC deals with "intention to cause disorder, promoting enmity between religious groups and incite people to violence".
"The FIR will be registered if we find found substantial evidence. I will be personally visiting that place to take the statements of residents," said Pawar. Togadia had asked his supporters to get vacated the house a Muslim man had purchased in the Hindu-majority locality near Meghani Circle area of Bhavnagar city, around 180 kms from Bhavnagar.
Togadia had allegedly told the gathering, mainly comprising local residents and Bajrang Dal workers, that they should give an ultimatum of 48 hours to the occupant to vacate the house or else they should storm into it, take possession and put up a Bajrang Dal board.