Guwahati: City police on Tuesday thwarted the perceived attempts of Pravin Togadia, president of the newly floated Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) to stir up communal hatred in Assam, by preventing him from attending any function and making “inflammatory” speeches that could hurt sentiments of minorities, ahead of the release of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Togadia was supposed to address several functions in Guwahati till Friday, including a news conference at Guwahati Press Club on Thursday. He was supposed to reach the city on Tuesday. Guwahati police commissioner Hiren Chandra Nath said in an order that the prohibition will be in place for two months.
“It has been brought to my notice that very sensitive and inflammatory speeches have been made by Togadia at various places. Such speeches will hurt the sentiments of a religious minority community and create a deep sense of insecurity among them, which is very likely to disturb public peace and order in Guwahati and other places,” the order said.
Those who left Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) along with Togadia formed the AHP. AHP officials slammed the order and called it a “step to stop free speech”.
The order also asked Togadia to abstain from attending any event organised by the Assam unit of AHP and making any inflammatory speech at any other place or through media in any part of Guwahati, without appropriate permission from the police commissioner.
After resigning as the VHP chief, Togadia had criticised the BJP and its policies.
He was also issued similar prohibitory orders before his visit to the city in February 2015, when the Congress was in power in the state.
Sources said officials feared that Togadia could make “anti-Muslim” slogans or speeches that could create communal tension as he had made “anti-migrant” comments earlier. Many organisers here have alleged that minorities are being harassed in the name of NRC update.
[Contributed by Deb Boruah, Guwahati]