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Gujarat: Islamic preacher held from Mumbai remanded in police custody in Modasa hate speech case

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Modasa, Feb 12 (PTI) A court on Monday remanded Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari in police custody till February 17 in a hate speech case registered against him in Modasa in Gujarat's Arvalli district.

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The court of principal district and sessions judge AN Anjaria remanded the cleric to police custody till 10:30 am on February 17 against the 10-day remand sought by the police, public prosecutor DS Patel said.

"The reason for remand was to get his physical presence to question him regarding conspiracy angle, from where he received funding for the event, etc.," Patel said.

According to police, Azhari was booked for delivering an inflammatory speech in an open ground in Modasa on December 24.

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He was held from Mumbai on February 5 after he delivered an alleged hate speech in B division police station limits in Junagadh on January 31.

Later, Kutch East police registered a First Information Report and arrested him on February 8 for delivering an allegedly provocative speech in Samakhiyari village in Bhachau taluka on January 31.

Azhari has been granted bail in cases registered against him in Junagadh and Kutch.

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In Junagadh and Kutch East, Azhari was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 153B (promoting enmity between different religious groups) and 505 (2) (making statements conducive to public mischief).

In Modasa, apart from sections 153B and 505(2), he has also been charged under section 298 for uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

Relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have also been invoked as he made derogatory remarks against the SC community in his speech, as per police. PTI KA BNM

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