Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari detained in alleged hate speech case

MUMBAI — Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad on Sunday detained Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari in Mumbai, accused in an alleged hate speech case.

The action by Junagadh Police was taken after a video of an inflammatory speech allegedly delivered by the preacher went viral on social media.

Mufti Salman is currently at Ghatkopar police station where hundreds of supporters of the Mufti gathered outside the police station demanding his immediate release, bringing traffic to a standstill in the area.

Meanwhile, addressing his supporters, Salman Azhari requested them not to protest.

“…Neither am I a criminal, nor have I been brought here for committing a crime. They are doing the required investigation and I am also cooperating with them. I am ready to be arrested if it is in my destiny…” he said.

Wahid Sheikh, lawyer of Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari alleged that Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari is ready to cooperate in connection with the case but the police are not giving any reply.

“35-40 policemen in civil dress were present at Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari’s house in the morning hours. We asked them about their purpose for coming, but nothing was informed. After coordinating with Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari they (police) said that a case has been lodged under 153 B (promoting enmity between different religious groups), in Gujarat. Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari came to the police station with them and also cooperated but there is no reply yet…Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari is ready to cooperate but the police are not giving any reply…” Sheikh said.

The alleged speech was delivered at an event held on an open ground near the ‘B’ division police station in Junagadh on the night of January 31. — (ANI)