On February 6, authorities revealed a troubling development as Maulana Mufti Salman Azhari found himself entangled in another legal battle. A second First Information Report (FIR) was filed against him in Kutch, Gujarat, compounding his existing legal troubles stemming from a similar incident in Junagarh, Gujarat. The initial complaint in Junagarh was filed following Azhari’s provocative address on January 31, prompting his apprehension by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Maharashtra. Prior to the Junagarh incident, Azhari had reportedly delivered a similarly inflammatory speech in Kutch.
Mamad Khan Mori, the organiser of the event titled “Dharmik Takrir” in Kutch, has also been implicated in the case. Both Azhari and Mori face legal repercussions as law enforcement agencies, including the police and ATS, collaborate in the ongoing investigation.
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The video footage from Kutch, which prompted the second FIR, captures Azhari making incendiary remarks, including, “We believe that if they desecrate a mosque, a ‘Ghulam’ of Prophet Muhammed will come who will purify the mosque and Azaan will echo in the air. Today is the day of these dogs, tomorrow will be ours.” Azhari’s speech was accompanied by chants of “Nara-e-Takbir, Allah Hu Akbar.”
Superintendent of Police Sagar Bagmar of Kutch (East) confirmed that Azhari and Mori have been charged under Sections 153B and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Bagmar stated, “We have registered an offence after the video of his hate speech went viral on social media. At present, the Mufti is in the custody of Junagadh Police. We will apply for a transfer warrant to bring him here.”
Local religious leaders, including Mohandas Maharaj, executive president of Akhil Bhartiya Sant Samiti, have condemned Azhari’s inflammatory rhetoric. Maharaj emphasised the need for accountability, urging decisive action against those who disrupt peace in India. He asserted that Azhari should not be granted bail and deserves severe punishment.
In addition to the legal proceedings, authorities are actively collecting information on Azhari’s activities, including his speeches in Kutch, from various social media platforms. Three trusts associated with Azhari, namely Jamia Riyazul Jannah, Al Aman Education and Welfare Trust, and Darul Aman Trust, are also under scrutiny. Investigations are ongoing regarding Azhari’s alleged connections to extremist organisations.
This latest development adds to the controversy surrounding Azhari, whose previous speech in Junagarh sparked outrage. In that speech, Azhari made derogatory remarks against the Hindu community, drawing attention to the ongoing legal disputes surrounding religious sites in India. Following public outcry, an FIR was lodged against him, leading to his arrest by Gujarat police in Mumbai on February 4. However, Azhari’s supporters, including some Muslim journalists and activists, have rallied for his release, highlighting the polarising nature of the case.