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A Mumbai-based animal rights activist has filed a petition in the Bombay high court, seeking registration of First Information Report (FIR) against Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Danve for his alleged comment on cow slaughter.
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Member of Parliament from Jalna constituency landed in controversy, after a video depicting him commenting in favour of cow slaughter went viral on social media forums. The controversial comments were said to have been made during a meeting in the Bhokardan constituency in Jalna, ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly Elections which were held on October 21.
The plea filed before the Court registers protest over remarks attributed to Danve in the video, wherein he is heard assuring people not to worry about the law banning slaughter of cow progenies “till he is there.” The address was made during a public meeting with a minority community in Jalna district. The writ petition filed by the petitioner, Dr Vinod Kothari reads,
“The statement made by Shri. Raosaheb Danve has hurt my religious sentiments. It was, in fact, an abuse to the majority Hindu and Jain community as he was instigating the Muslim community to break the law and kill cows and their progeny during Bakri Eid and for the purpose of eating beef. He has insulted all Hindus and Jains.”
The plea was mentioned before Justice KK Tated, who presided over Vacation Bench on October 30. However, the Court refused to hear the plea on urgent basis and asked the petitioner to present it after the Court reconvenes on November 4.
The plea prays for the Court to direct the registration of an FIR against Danve under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The plea also seeks action against the BJP leader under Section 11 of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, which provides punishment for abetment of the offences related to cow slaughter under the Act. Further, the petitioner has also sought the removal of the video in question from social media platforms. As an interim prayer, the petitioner has prayed that the Court restrain various media channels from exhibiting the video and order the removal of the video from online platforms, including social media forums like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.
Additionally, the Court has also been urged to restrain Danve from making any public speech or travelling abroad without Court permission.
In the meanwhile, the BJP leader has reportedly denied the allegations and claimed that the viral video is ‘misleading’ and ‘doctored’.
The High Court is likely to hear the plea on November 7, next week.
Image taken from here