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BJP MP Tejasvi Surya Faces Charges for Hate Speech in Shopkeeper Assault

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Tejasvi Surya, the MP for Bengaluru South BJP, was charged by the Bengaluru police with using hate speech after he shared a video of an alleged attack on a shopkeeper for portraying Hanuman Chalisa on social media.

Indian Express was informed by a police officer that Surya, the president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, was the target of a case that was filed at the Halasuru gate police station following a formal complaint filed by the Election Commission’s Flying Squad Team (FST).

The police stated, “An organization named ‘Campaign Against Hate Speech’ made a complaint before the Election Commission.”

Surya has been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 153(a) (promoting disharmony or feelings of hatred, enmity, or ill will between different religious, racial, or other groups), 295 (a) (deliberate and malicious acts that outrage religious feelings of any class are punishable) and the Representation of the People Act Section 123 (3a) (The promotion of, or attempt to promote, feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India by a candidate or his agent)

On March 18, Surya took to X to share a video of the shopkeeper, Mukesh, 26, who was allegedly attacked by six men for playing Hanuman Chalisa during Azan (Islamic call to prayer).

Surya wrote: “A Hindu shopkeeper who was playing bhajans at his shop was assaulted by anti-social elements saying bhajans aren’t allowed during the time of ‘azaan’. The emboldening of such elements is a direct result of Congress’s appeasement politics. Just a few days back, people who shouted “Pakistan Zindabad” were given bail. With such political backing available to Jihadis, naturally such incidents of crime against Hindus have risen in our State. CM must stop setting wrong precedents. I call upon him to update the State on what action is initiated against the miscreants in this case.”

The complaint stated Surya’s statement targeted the Muslim community and attempted to create hatred between Hindus and Muslims.

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