New Delhi: An investigation by the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department into Adityanath’s alleged hate speech in 2007, which allegedly incited riots in Gorakhpur and nearby areas, had found enough grounds to suggest that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader be tried on several charges, including promoting enmity.
Though the report of its investigation was never made public, the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department that was looking into the FIR on the alleged hate speech had found evidence to try Adityanath and four of his accomplices under sections the Indian Penal Code pertaining to unlawful assembly, making a provocative speech with intent of causing riot, promoting enmity between two communities and deliberate acts intended to outrage religious feelings.
This was conveyed to Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar by Uttar Pradesh’s Director General (Crime) GP Sharma through a letter dated May 9. Scroll.in has a copy of the letter.
It was following this investigation that the crime branch of the state police, on July 10, 2015, sought the permission of Uttar Pradesh home department to prosecute Adityanath and others. The request was pending with the department during the Samajwadi Party’s rule for almost two years. Weeks after Adityanath took charge as the chief minister of the Uttar Pradesh, Bhatnagar, on May 11, filed an affidavit informing the Allahabad High Court about the government’s refusal to grant permission to prosecute Adityanath and his accomplices.
In 2008, an FIR was filed against Adityanath, in connection with his alleged hate speech of January 27, 2007, at the Cantonment police station in Gorakhpur. According to the FIR, Adityanath, who was then the BJP MP from Gorakhpur, delivered a speech outside the Gorakhpur railway station, seeking “revenge” for the death of a Hindu boy who had succumbed to injuries sustained in a clash between two groups during a Muharram procession. The purported speech was also recorded on video.
The speech allegedly sparked sporadic riots in Gorakhpur and neighbouring districts, in which two people were killed and properties worth crores were burnt.
The Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department began its inquiries based on the FIR. According to the letter submitted by the Director General (Crime) to Bhatnagar, the investigating officer of the crime branch took statements of the complainant and others. They found that the claims corroborated with the video recordings of Adityanath’s speech. Based on this, Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department reccomended that Adityanath and four of his accomplices be tried under sections 143, 153, 153A, 295A and 505 of the IPC. “Based on this, the permission was sought from the government to start prosecution against the accused,” the letter said.
One of the key reasons cited by the government to deny sanction to prosecute Adityanath was that an investigation by the the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in October 2014 found that CD containing Adityanath’s speeches had been doctored.
However, the letter of the Director General (Crime) to Bhatnagar did not make any concluding remarks on the authenticity of the CD. While stating that the experts of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory found the CD “edited and tampered”, the letter also mentioned that the voice sample provided to the laboratory “appeared to have matched” with that in the CD. However, the letter also pointed out that that the voice that the forensic lab used was taken from a recording of another speech of Adityanath’s and not directly from him. The letter observed that “it cannot be kept in the category of valid sample”.
Contrary to the government’s affidavit, the letter of the Director General (Crime) did not concretely state that there are no grounds to prosecute Adityanath and left room for further investigation into the CD.