Una hate speech case: Right-wing activist Kajal Hindustani arrested days after communal clash in Gujarat

Kajal Shingala alias Kajal Hindusthani, who is a resident of Jamnagar city in Gujarat, surrendered in Una town police station on Sunday morning, police said.

After evading arrest for a full week after she was booked for allegedly making a hate speech in Una town of Gir Somnath district during Ram Navmi celebrations, Kajal Shingala alias Kajal Hindusthani, who claims to have campaigned for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, was arrested by police after she surrendered on Sunday morning. Hours later, police produced her in a court that sent her into judicial custody.

Shingala, who is a resident of Jamnagar city in Gujarat, surrendered in Una town police station on Sunday morning, police said. She was arrested formally at 11:15 AM in connection with the case registered against her at Una police station on April 2.

We arrested her today and produced her in a court later on. She has been sent into judicial custody,” Shripal Sheshma, superintendent of Gir Somnath district police told.

Una police produced her in a local court in Una town at around 1 PM on Sunday, around two hours after arresting her. But as the police didn’t seek her remand, the court sent her into judicial custody. “Her speech is already out in the public. Therefore, there is no question of remand,” the SP said when asked if police had sought her custody.

Shingala identifies herself as a “nationalist” and a “social activist” on her social media pages. Her website, which has become inaccessible for the past few days, claimed that she had participated in BJP leader Om Birla’s Lok Sabhaelection campaign in Rajasthan in 2019. Birla won the election and was subsequently elected Speaker of Lok Sabha.

Shingala had addressed a public meeting in Tower Chowk of Una organised by Shree Ramkrushna Janmotsava Samiti, Una as part of Ram Navmi celebrations on March 30. Police say tension had built up in the area after her speech. To diffuse the atmosphere, police called a meeting of leaders of two communities on April 1. However, the meeting took an ugly turn as leaders of both communities engaged in heated exchanges in the presence of police officers. Later on, a mob of around 200 people assembled and allegedly indulged in violence by pelting stones and glass bottles on the homes of people and passersby, as well as vandalising vehicles.

Based on a complaint filed by RR Galchar, a police sub-inspector attached to Una police station, Una police had booked 76 of a minority community and a mob of around 200 people for unlawful assembly, rioting voluntarily causing hurt, etc on April 1. The next day, Shingala was also booked under IPC Sections 195A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.) and 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 505 ( Statements conducing to public mischief). The FIR against Shingala was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by one Kanti Parmar, an assistant sub-inspector posted at Una police station.

This is the first arrest in the hate speech case. “We have also recorded statements of the organisers of the events. They are claiming that they had no idea that Shingala would make such a speech,” NK Goswami, police inspector of Una said, adding, “This is the first arrest in this case. We have arrested 96 people in the rioting case so far.”

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