Hindu Seer Arrested for Insulting India's Independence Leader Mahatma Gandhi
07:25 GMT 30.12.2021 (Updated: 18:55 GMT 19.10.2022)
© AP Photo / James A. MillsMahatma Gandhi in a photo from a period album collected by AP reporter James A. Mills, ca. 1931.
© AP Photo / James A. Mills
Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj made derogatory remarks about the country's freedom icon and Father of the Nation - Mahatma Gandhi, during a "Dharam Sansad" (a religious congregation) organised in Raipur, the state capital of Chhattisgarh, on 25 December.
Police in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh arrested Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj in the early hours of Thursday, days after he insulted Mahatma Gandhi and hailed his assassin Nathuram Godse for killing him.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Prashant Agrawal for Raipur confirmed the arrest to the media.
"Kalicharan Maharaj was staying in a rented accommodation near Bageshwar Dham, 25 km from Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. Raipur Police arrested him at 4 a.m. today. By late evening, the police team will reach Raipur with the accused", he said.
Kalicharan has been booked under Section 505(2) (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and Section 294 (obscene act in any public place) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Speaking at a "Dharam Sansad" (a religious congregation) in Raipur on 25 December, Kalicharan said: "What has Gandhi done for Hindus? He betrayed the nation. He seeded the dynasty politics in the country and destroyed others".
"I don't call him Father of the Nation. Had the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty not happened, India would have become a superpower bigger than America", he added.
The Hindu leader also hailed Gandhi's killer, Nathuram Godse.
Chhattisgarh State Chief Bhupesh Baghel and several Congress Party leaders have since condemned the remarks made by Kalicharan against Mahatma Gandhi.
The objectionable remarks during the Raipur event came just days after a religious gathering in Haridwar (in the state of Uttarakhand) made headlines over provocative speeches by some Hindu religious leaders against minority communities.