MUMBAI: Senior Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said activist Sharjeel Usmani, accused of delivering a hate speech at a conclave in Pune in January, was charged with minor sections of the law so that he could easily get bail and return to his home in Uttar Pradesh.
In a tweet, the former Maharashtra chief minister said, "Usmani had hurt sentiments of Hindus but he was charged with section 153 A (for promoting enmity between different groups). The section of IPC 295A (used for outraging religious sentiments) was systematically removed while filing an FIR against him in Pune. The state helped Sharjeel to get bail."
Hitting out at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's "hypocrisy", the leader of opposition in the Assembly said "the CM had said his government will find Sharjeel Usmani from any corner of the world, but in reality, MVA's (government) actions are opposite to their words".
The alleged hate speech was made at a gathering held on January 30, 2021 in Pune to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima.