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Ex-UP Minister declared ‘absconder’ in hate speech case

Bijnor: A Bijnor court has declared former minister Ashok Kataria, BJP leader Kavita Choudhary and former Shiv Sena state president Veer Singh as absconders and has issued a non-bailable warrant against them for not appearing in the court during the hearing of a hate speech case in 2012.

The court of additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM) Abhinav Yadav will hear the case again on January 19.

Lawyer D.K. Singh said the accused did not appear before the court despite the repeated warrants issued to them. Eventually, the court declared them absconding and issued a warrant against them.

Sub-inspector Ishendra Singh lodged a complaint against the accused on September 3, 2012 for allegedly delivering a hate speech against Muslims in the Adhai village of the Basta area in Bijnor district during a panchayat meeting.

After receiving the information, the police reached there and asked BJP’s Kavita Choudhary to stop her speech. Ashok Kataria, who later became a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, was also present in the panchayat meeting, where Shiv Sena’s then state president Veer Singh also allegedly delivered a hate speech.

A case was registered, and the police filed a charge sheet against them under sections 188 (violation of section 144 of the CrPC) and section 153 of the IPC (spreading hatred).

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