New Delhi: Over 30 WhatsApp groups of Hindu Right-wing organisations mobilised the 8 August event at Jantar Mantar in Delhi where anti-Muslim slogans were allegedly raised. The event was being planned for over a year and was scheduled to be held last year, ThePrint has learnt.
The event was organised under the banner of ‘Bharat Jodo Andolan’ by Delhi BJP member and Supreme Court lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay to protest against ‘colonial era rules’.
Upadhyay, along with five others, was arrested on 10 August, but he was granted bail two days later.
The other five — Deepak Singh (president of outfit Hindu Force), Vinod Sharma (head of Sudarshan Vahini), Deepak Kumar, Vineet Bajpai Kranti, and Save India Foundation’s director Preet Singh — continue to remain in custody.
Searches are ongoing for two others — Pinky Chaudhary (member of Hindu Raksha Dal, who had taken responsibility for JNU violence) and an individual named Uttam Malik.
“Ashwini Upadhyay along with Preet Singh of Save India Foundation and Hindu Army had called for this event. Over 3,500 of those who were there were our people but now Upadhyay has betrayed us… we were at the stage with him together,” Sushil Tiwari, Hindu Army chief told ThePrint.
Upadhyay had denied knowing the people who raised the alleged inflammatory slogans.
Tiwari also claimed that Upadhyay is an agent of AAP. Upadhyay, who was one of the founding members of the AAP, was expelled by the party in 2014.
Right-wing outfits involved, claims Hindu Army chief
According to Tiwari, various Hindu Right-wing outfits — Hindu Army, Save India, Hindu Force, Sanatani Sena, Satra Sanatan, Dev Sena, and Hindu Army Trust — were involved in the event, apart from several other smaller outfits.
He added that the banner and call for the event was made viral through 30 WhatsApp groups across the country and people from as far as Kanyakumari came to attend it.
“This event was supposed to be held last year but couldn’t be held due to Covid cases, first wave. It was announced on 14 April last year and our people were informed to be ready for it,” Tiwari said.
“We then scheduled it this year and met our guru Yati Narsinghanand in January this year to discuss the event. He was invited but couldn’t attend due to safety reasons. Swami Nareshanand, who was attacked in Dasna Devi temple, had come all the way from Samastipur to attend the event.”
A senior police officer on the condition of anonymity told ThePrint that investigation so far has revealed that Deepak Singh is closely connected to Yati Narsinghanand.
“We will get further clarity on how the event was planned and mobilised after Pinky Chaudhary and Uttam Malik are arrested”.
“We suspect that it was Upadhyay who had planned this event for a long time and mobilised it as well. He however has denied knowing anything about it,” the officer added.
(Edited by Neha Mahajan)