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Prophet row: FIR against Bhim Sena chief filed in haste, says Delhi court


Satpal Tanwar was arrested for announcing reward for severing Nupur Sharma’s tongue

Satpal Tanwar was arrested for announcing reward for severing Nupur Sharma’s tongue

A local court here noted that a first information report (FIR) against Bhim Sena chief Satpal Tanwar, for allegedly announcing a bounty and threatening suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma, was registered by the Delhi police in haste.

A video of Mr. Tanwar had gone viral on social media a couple of days ago in which he had announced a reward of ₹1 crore to whoever severs Ms. Sharma’s tongue over her remarks about Prophet Muhammad.

The court also noted that the Delhi Police Special Cell did not follow arrest procedures by the Supreme Court in the Arnesh Kumar judgment, saying the prosecution had neither denied nor rebutted the submissions made in regard to Mr. Tanwar’s deteriorating health while in custody. 

Third-degree torture

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for Mr. Tanwar, submitted that he was subjected to third-degree torture in custody and was currently admitted to RML Hospital with injuries. He also said that Mr. Tanwar was chained to the hospital bed and that if he remained in custody, “he is most likely to die”. 

Mr. Pracha told Today News 24, “The police knew that he had some stomach problem so they intentionally hit him there repeatedly.”

‘Was in good health’

The police submitted that Mr. Tanwar was “in good health” at the time of his arrest and that “his condition deteriorated” after his MLC was done at the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Dwarka, and while was being taken to the police station. Following this, he was admitted to the RML Hospital, the police said. 

While granting Mr. Tanwar bail on a bond of ₹50,000 and one surety of the like amount, the court noted in its June 19 order that the police added Section 153A to the FIR a day after registering it, saying, “The investigating officer [IO] despite being questioned has failed to answer why was he in such a hurry to register the FIR even when he had not seen the complete video.”

The court added that the sequence of events submitted by the police “shows that no attempt was made to comply with the judgment of Arnesh Kumar vs State of Bihar and the IO wanted to arrest the accused without the compliance”. 

However, the court did note the seriousness of the allegations against Mr. Tanwar. “Words used in the tweet were highly provocative and were more than sufficient for detriment to maintenance of public tranquility [sic] and on the analysis of the video it was found that it promoted enmity, hatred and ill-will among Hindus and Muslims,” the court said before directing Mr. Tanwar to cooperate with the investigation as soon as he is fit to do so. 

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