GUWAHATI: The police on Thursday prevented VHP leader Praveen Togadia from addressing a meeting of the VHP here and from having a recorded speech of his played on microphone by clamping Section 144. Togadia was scheduled to address the “Bishal Hindu Sanmilan”.
Thousands of people had come from across the state for the event. City Police Commissioner Jyotirmoy Chakraborty ordered the imposition of Section 144 and directed Togadia “to abstain from attending the meeting, making any speech therein or making any inflammatory speech through any media in any part of Guwahati.”
VHP Assam “Prachar Pramukh” SD Sinha told Express that Togadia was handed a letter of the CP when he had landed here from Southern Assam’s Silchar earlier in the day.
The police feared that there could be a law and order situation, Sinha added. On Wednesday, the VHP leader had allegedly appealed to religious minorities at Patharkandi in the state’s Karimganj district to convert to Hinduism.
The police feared that the statement might create resentment among the minorities and disturb public order. “…Such inflammatory speeches hurt the sentiments of religious minorities and create a deep sense of insecurity among them, which is very likely to disturb public peace and order.
“As Togadia is likely to make similar inflammatory speeches if allowed to address the meeting here…, I, in exercise of the powers conferred upon me under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure, 1973, do hereby direct him to abstain from attending the meeting, making any speech therein or making an inflammatory speech through any media in any part of Guwahati,” the CP said in the letter.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was also apparently miffed with Togadia’s “convert-to-Hinduism” call to the minorities. “People like Praveen Togadia come to Assam to disturb communal harmony. They should not be allowed to enter the state,” Gogoi said.