Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja Shakun Pandey has been arrested by the Police for recreating Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on his death anniversary. According to reports, the Hindu Mahasabha leader was arrested from Tappal in Aligarh District of Uttar Pradesh. The police have also arrested her husband Ashok Pandey.
Pooja, however, said she had no regrets as she didn’t commit any crime. "No regrets. We have not committed any crime. We have used our Constitutional right," she told media persons while being produced before a local court.
Earlier on January 1, when the nation observed Mahatma Gandhi’s 71st death anniversary, Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja enacted his assassination by Godse – who was a member of her organisation. During the enactment of Gandhi’s assassination, Pandey shot at Gandhi’s effigy and garlanded his killer.
Aligarh police has arrested Hindu Mahasabha's Pooja Pandey and her husband Ashok Pandey from Tappal, for recreating Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 6, 2019
The Hindu Mahasabha leader’s actions had triggered a storm on social media with users slamming her and demanding police action against her. However, she wasn’t moved by the criticism and told reporters that this would be an annual event "just like the burning of Raavan on Dussehra".
A case was registered against 13 people, including Pandey for shooting at the effigy of the Father of Nation. The police arrested five people last week in connection with the event.
The accused were booked under the Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 147, 148, 149 (related to rioting).
Meanwhile, Congress activists have been staging protests demanding the arrest of the accused. Former chief minister and Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit also staged a silent protest at Raj Ghat against the insult of Mahatma Gandhi.
"People of India are enraged and will never forgive such a hurtful incident under the BJP rule at the Centre," Dikshit had said.
Amid outrage, Union Minister Uma Bharti had clarified that she had no link with the with the Hindu Mahasabha and the culprits should be brought to book. Uma Bharti further added that she herself is a Gandhian and would always regret that people like Pooja stood by her side.