February 7, 2017 3:29:57 am
DESPITE BEING an accused in a sedition case for a “provocative speech” in May 2016, Yashpal Malik has emerged as a central figure among the Jat agitators in Haryana with thousands attending dharnas on his call. Malik is the president of All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS), which had called for dharnas from January demanding withdrawal of cases lodged in connection with violence during the February 2016 quota stir.
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The Haryana police say that he cannot be restrained from holding rallies as “just an FIR cannot be basis for the same” and “investigations are still on” even as the FIR was lodged against him and his associates on May 27, 2016.
The FIR was lodged in connection with his speech in the meeting of state executive of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS) headed by Malik held in Jind on May 25, 2016 in connection with another phase of the agitation.
The case was lodged under sections 124-A (sedition),153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and section 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the IPC at city police station of Jind.
Then the police had stated that Malik and his associates were booked for “provoking people to revolt against the state government”.
When asked why is he being allowed to move freely despite an FIR against him, Jind SP Shashak Anand said, “There is no restriction (on the movement of somebody) just because an FIR is registered against him. The FIR doesn’t mean that a person is guilty. But our job is to investigate it.
We are doing it. And once we come to a conclusion, further action will be taken.”
“…the number of accused is pretty large in this case, close to 100. They all have to be joined investigation because its the process. Once the statements of all are recorded, we will be able to come to a conclusion,” added the SP while speaking to The Indian Express Monday.
According to the SP, Malik has joined investigations into the matter but the police have to cross-check with each of the witnesses present there.
However, Malik raises questions over the intentions of government claiming that he did not give any provoking statement. “You please see definition of sedition on the Internet. If 125 members of the executive of an organisation hold a meeting, how can it be a case of sedition?” Malik told The Indian Express. “What is in a case? The government can lodge a case even without a mistake,” he added.
Malik, 55, is a resident of Khatkar village in UP’s Muzaffarnagar district. His opponents term him an “outsider” but Malik says, “I am heading a national organisation (AIJASS), which has branches in many states. If I am an outsider, then Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi are also outsider as per this definition.”
Malik is currently travelling across the state to address dharnas which are being held in 19 districts of the state. On Monday, Malik addressed gatherings in Bhiwani, Dadri and Rohtak.
The AIJASS, in a statement, claimed on Friday that not only Jats but members of all 36 communities were attending their dharnas. “In Ikkas village of Jind district, the dharna was presided over by Mirasi community member Pala Ram while Moti Ram Saini along with supporters reached to the dharna to extend the support to the agitation,” mentioned the samiti statement.
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