Kalicharan Maharaj sent to judicial custody till January 13 over ‘derogatory’ remarks on Mahatma Gandhi


Raipur: Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj, arrested over alleged derogatory remarks about Mahatma Gandhi, was on Friday sent in judicial custody by a court in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district.

The police produced him in the court a day ahead of the expiry of his police remand, saying they had questioned him and did not need his further custody. 

After his arrest from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh on Thursday early morning by Raipur police, the Raipur court had sent him in police custody for two days. “He was scheduled to be produced again on Saturday. But police completed the questioning and presented him before Judicial Magistrate First Class Chetna Thakur on Friday and requested that he be sent in judicial custody,” said District Prosecution Officer Hina Yasmin Khan. The court sent him in judicial remand till January 13, she told PTI.

After his alleged remarks about the Mahatma went viral and drew widespread condemnation, Raipur police on Thursday apprehended Kalicharan Maharaj alias Abhijeet Dhananjay Saraag from near Bageshwar Dham, about 25 km from Khajuraho town in Madhya Pradesh. 

Before that, on Sunday, an FIR was registered against him at Tikrapara police station here under IPC sections 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 294 (obscene acts). Later, police added section 124 A (sedition) too. His arrest had led to a row between the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh and the Congress government in Chhattisgarh. The MP government claimed that its police were not intimated about the action. 

On Sunday evening, at the end of a two-day ‘dharma sansad’ (religion parliament) held in Raipur, Kalicharan Maharaj had allegedly used abusive words against Mahatma Gandhi. 

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