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Hate speech case: Guj Police arrest Islamic preacher from Mumbai

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Junagadh, Feb 5: The Gujarat Police have arrested Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari from Mumbai in connection with an FIR registered against him for allegedly delivering a hate speech and are bringing him back to the state, an official said on Monday. The speech was delivered at an event held on an open ground near the ‘B’ division police station in Gujarat’s Junagadh city on the night of January 31.
After a video of it went viral, an FIR was registered against Azhari and local organisers Mohammad Yousuf Malek and Azim Habib Odedara under Indian Penal Code sections 153B (promoting enmity between different religious groups) and 505 (2) (making statements conducive to public mischief), police said.
Malek and Habib were arrested on Saturday, while the police were searching for Azhari.
The Gujarat Police traced Azhari to Mumbai and arrested him on Sunday. He was being brought back to Junagadh after securing a transit remand from a court in Mumbai, Junagadh crime branch police inspector J J Patel said.
The Junagadh police carried out the operation with the help of the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad, Patel said.
The accused was being brought to Junagadh where he will be produced before a court on Tuesday, he said.
As per officials, the arrested men had taken permission from police for the gathering stating that Azhari will speak about religion and spread awareness about de-addiction, but he allegedly delivered an inflammatory speech. The Junagadh local crime branch is investigating the case.
After the Gujarat cops detained Azhari in Mumbai, police resorted to mild lathicharge as hundreds of supporters of the preacher gathered outside Ghatkopar police station in the Maharashtra capital demanding his immediate release, bringing traffic to a standstill in the area, an official earlier said. (PTI)

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