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FIR against Sidhu’s adviser and ex-DGP Mustafa over ‘inflammatory’ poll speech in Malerkotla

Mustafa's wife Razia Sultana is Punjab minister, seeking re-election from only Muslim-majority seat, Malerkotla. Ex-IPS allegedly said ‘I am a soldier of community not RSS agent’.

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Chandigarh: Former Punjab director general of police (DGP) Mohammad Mustafa, who is a strategic adviser to state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, has been booked over an allegedly inflammatory speech he made while campaigning for his wife, cabinet minister Razia Sultana, in Malerkotla last week.

An FIR was lodged against Mustafa around midnight Saturday under Section 153A (promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of The Representation of the People Act, 1951.
The FIR, accessed by ThePrint, was registered on the basis of a Malerkotla sub-inspector’s statement regarding a video clip of the speech that has gone viral on social media. Malerkotla is the only Muslim-dominated constituency in Punjab.

On Saturday, a viral video clip of Mustafa’s speech in Malerkotla, the only Muslim-dominated constituency in Punjab, had triggered a political storm.

Opposition parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hit out at the ruling Congress over the speech, warning it against “disturbing law and order” ahead of the elections. They also asked the Election Commission (EC) to take action against Mustafa. However, the former DGP tweeted Saturday that there was “no Hindu-Muslim context to what happened in Malerkotla”.

The Punjab Congress has not issued any statement on the issue so far.

‘I am a soldier of the qaum

A video clip of the speech that has gone viral purportedly shows Mustafa addressing a room full of people in Malerkotla and saying that he will not allow any rally of the AAP to take place. He was allegedly responding to a remark that the AAP had organised a gathering close to where he was campaigning. 

The former DGP is also purportedly heard saying that he is a soldier of the “qaum” (community) and not an “RSS agent” that he will get scared and hide in his house. 

“If they repeat this a second time, I swear to God that I will go to their houses and beat them up,” he is allegedly heard saying in response to claims that AAP was trying to disrupt his gathering.

“Today, I am only giving out a warning. I am a soldier of the qaum. I am not fighting for votes, but for the qaum,” he purportedly goes on to say, amid loud cheers and claps.

Mustafa then allegedly says he wants to make it very clear to the police and administration that “if they permit a gathering of mischievous elements (‘fitnon’), I will create such circumstances that you will not be able to manage them”.

Also Read: BJP’s 1st list for Punjab polls features mostly tried-and-tested leaders, some turncoats too

‘Congress should clarify its intentions’

The BJP and AAP reacted strongly to the video clip, alleging that Mustafa’s statement was not only provocative, but also aimed at disrupting peace in the state.

BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra had tweeted Saturday that Rahul Gandhi and the Congress should clarify what situation they were trying to create in Punjab by using Mustafa as a “pawn”.

To this, Mustafa responded with a series of tweets, stating that Patra should not look for his “staple diet of Hindu-Muslim” in everything. He added that he used the term “fitnon, meaning mischievous elements”, and not “Hinduon” (Hindus), in his speech.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh had issued a statement on the matter Saturday, in which he accused the Punjab Congress of creating a serious threat to national security, adding that both Navjot Sidhu and Mustafa are playing into the hands of the “ISI” (Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence).

In a tweet, he accused Mustafa of trying to disrupt social harmony, and making attempts to create a rift between Hindus and Muslims.

In his statement, Chugh also demanded that the EC register a criminal case against Mustafa, and warned the Congress high command against disturbing law and order in Punjab in view of the upcoming elections. 

AAP’s Punjab affairs co-in-charge Raghav Chadha too, in a statement issued Saturday, claimed that Mustafa was close to both Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Navjot Singh Sidhu. “Mustafa has given such a statement at the behest of Channi and Sidhu. Such statements reflect the thinking of the Congress party and its leaders,” he further said.

Chadha also appealed to the EC to take notice of Mustafa’s “provocative” statement, and demanded strict action against him “for trying to vitiate the atmosphere of a poll-bound state”. He expressed his views on the matter in a tweet as well.

The Punjab assembly elections will be held in a single-phase on 20 February. Results will be declared on 10 March.

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)

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