UP Corporator Who Took Oath In Urdu Charged With "Intent To Hurt Religious Sentiment"

An officer said while oath-taking in Urdu is not illegal, the police acted because of the violence.

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UP Corporator Who Took Oath In Urdu Charged With 'Intent To Hurt Religious Sentiment'

An FIR has been filed against Musharraf Husain in Aligarh.

Aligarh:  A newly-elected municipal councilor in Uttar Pradesh has been charged in a police complaint after he took the oath of office on Monday in Urdu. Musharraf Husain has been accused of "malicious intent of outraging religious sentiment" by a BJP corporator.

Mr Husain belongs to Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The First Information Report or FIR has been filed against him in Aligarh.

In the FIR, BJP corporator Pushpendra Kumar alleges that Mr Husain's Urdu swearing-in "led to a bad atmosphere and a possibility of breakdown of law and order".

Mr Kumar's argument is that all corporators were administered the oath of office in Hindi and the ceremony was "proceeding normally" until Mr Husain's oath in Urdu. That triggered "unpleasant scenes" and a scuffle between the states's ruling BJP and BSP, Mr Kumar alleges.

An officer said while oath-taking in Urdu is not illegal, the police acted because of the violence.

"Corporators had taken oath in urdu and that led to a bad atmosphere. The other side had complained. Taking oath in Urdu is not illegal at all but the police had to intervene after that and there was a tussle and the FIR has been registered in that context," said senior police officer Rajesh Pandey.

In the recent urban body polls in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP won 14 out of 16 posts for mayor, but lost Aligarh and Meerut, both in western Uttar Pradesh, to Mayawati's party. In Aligarh, though, the mayor's post went to the BSP. The BJP has 35 corporators as against 21 of the BSP.

The section listed against Mr Husain is 295A, which includes "deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs".

The police said these charges were slapped against the corporator because religious slogans were raised after his swearing in.

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Mr Hussain said, "We will approach court against this FIR. I have also given a complaint to the SSP. It is the BJP and its workers who were raising communal slogans and not me or anyone related to me .I am part of a disciplined party."

Urdu and Hindi are official languages in Uttar Pradesh and rules for Parliament, the highest legislative body in India, clearly say that an oath can be taken in any of the 22 languages in the constitution - Urdu is one of them.

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