Right wing groups in Bhopal have launched protests demanding the release of jailed Maharashtra religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj who was arrested and jailed pending a probe into alleged insulting remarks he made about Mahatma Gandhi, as well as glorifying Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse.
The Bajrang Sena has also written a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind in order to request that he be released. Protests were held in the city of Indore, in front of the Gandhi statue at the heart of the city where Sena members raised slogans praising Godse and against Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
"He (Kalicharan Maharaj) only said what is true. Everyone knows that. What did Gandhi do anyway? If Independence could have been achieved just by turning a spinning wheel, everyone would have done that. The sacrifice of Bhagat Singh is what brought Independence. No one got Independence by turning a charkha," Sandeep Kushwaha of a local Bajrang Sena unit in Bhopal told NDTV.
The memorandum from the group also demands that. Sedition case be filed against Congress leader Digvijay Singh, Manishankar Iyyer and Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM whom the group alleges always insults the Hindi religion. It has also been addressed to state Home Minister Narottam Mishra.
Kalicharan Maharaj, a reputed Hindi seer, was arrested and sent to jail In Chattisgarh pending investigation into his seditious remarks made at a religious conclave held in Raipur, Madhya Pradesh. The seer has expressed no remorse for his words and Has said that he is willing 'to die' for speaking his truth.
A court in Raipur on Friday rejected the bail petition filed by lawyers of Hindu seer Kalicharan Maharaj, who will be in judicial custody till January 13.
Amongst some of the controversial statements he made at the conclave, Kalicharan hailed Nathuram Godse for killing Gandhi and also went on to assert that the aim of Islam and Muslims was to infiltrate politics and administration of countries around the world to bend them to their will.
Narottam Mishra later alleged that the Chhattisgarh Police violated inter-state protocol by arresting Kalicharan from the state without informing the local police. Kalicharan Maharaj's comments also created ripples in the Maharashtra Assembly, where the Shiv Sena-led government assured stern action against him.