Amid widespread outrage over his speech at the recent Elgar Parishad conclave, Aligarh Muslim University alumnus Sharjeel Usmani was booked by Pune police on Tuesday for allegedly ‘promoting enmity between different groups’.
The FIR was lodged under Section 153-A of the IPC at the Swargate police station by the regional secretary of Bhartiya Yuva Janta Morcha, Pradip Haribhou Gawade.
Usmani has been at the eye of the storm over his speech at the event with the opposition BJP in Maharashtra demanding action against him for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
He was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police last year for his alleged role in the clashes that broke out in Aligarh Muslim University on December 15, following protests against the new citizenship laws. He is currently out on bail.
Earlier in the day, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis alleged that Usmani had insulted sentiments of Hindus during his speech at the Elgar Parishad event and demanded strict action against him.
Fadnavis, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, also said the state government, which is headed by the Shiv Sena and comprises the NCP and Congress, didn’t register an FIR against Usmani despite the demands made by the BJP.
Fadnavis said, “In a video, Sharjeel Usmani is speaking at the Elgar Parishad. Usmani allegedly insulted sentiments of the Hindu community. A person comes in Maharashtra, insults sentiments, and returns to his home state without facing any legal action. If the state government fails to take any action against him, then we will assume that the government is behind Usmani”.
The conclave was organised on Saturday and among those who participated in it included eminent novelist Arundhati Roy, former IPS officer SM Mushrif, former Bombay High Court judge BG Kolse-Patil, and Usmani.
On Monday, home minister Anil Deshmukh had said the state government will examine if any objectionable speeches were made at conclave and will take action accordingly.