Pune Police Gets Kalicharan Maharaj’s Custody Till Thursday

The Pune Police on Wednesday said they have taken the custody of Hindu seer Kalicharan Maharaj from their Raipur counterparts in connection with a case about alleged inflammatory speeches registered against him and five others here in Maharashtra. Kalicharan alias Abhijit Sarag, who was brought to Pune after a court in Raipur granted his transit remand, was produced before the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) M A Shaikh who remanded the accused to the custody of Pune Police for one day.

“We have taken the custody of Kalicharan from Chhattisgarh Police and he is being brought to Pune,” an official from Khadak police station had said. The Pune police had registered the case against Kalicharan Maharaj, right-wing leader Milind Ekbote, Captain Digendra Kumar (retired) and others for allegedly making inflammatory speeches during an event here and hurting religious sentiments.

The event, ‘Shiv Pratap Din’, was organised by Ekbote-led outfit Hindu Aghadi outfit on December 19, 2021, to celebrate the killing of Mughal commander Afzal Khan by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Later, the case was registered against the seer and others at Khadak police station under IPC Sections 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious intention of outraging religious feelings of any class), 298 (deliberate intention of wounding religious feeling of any person) and 505 (2) (false statement, rumour made in place of worship, etc, with intent to create enmity, hatred or ill-will).

As per the FIR, all the accused allegedly made inflammatory speeches with an intention to hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and Christians and to create a communal rift between people. The prosecution sought Kalicharan’s police custody for seven days citing that the offence registered against him is of serious nature which needs a thorough investigation.

The court was told that the police wanted to probe who had invited Kalicharan to attend the event in Pune and where he had stayed while on the run. The prosecution also wanted to take voice samples of the accused.

Defence lawyer Amol Dange said the FIR registered against Kalicharan was politically motivated as the case was filed after 10 days. He argued against police custody, saying the offence is punishable with imprisonment of fewer than seven years.

After hearing the arguments, Judicial Magistrate (First Class) M A Shaikh remanded Kalicharan to police custody for one day. Kalicharan is also facing cases in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra for his alleged derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi during an event in Raipur. He was last week arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police from Madhya Pradesh in connection with that case.

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