Booked for hate speech in Sangamner, Suresh Chavhanke boasts that this is his ‘1,827th FIR’

He had spoken at a rally organised by the Sakal Hindu Samaj, which saw multiple instances of violence against Muslims.

WrittenBy:Prateek Goyal
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Sudarshan News head Suresh Chavhanke – who is known for spewing hate and misinformation – has been booked by the Sangamner police in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district for spreading religious hatred and promoting animosity between communities. 

This time, Chavhanke’s communal tirade is related to the June 6 violence that hit Samnapur village in Sangamner . The TV anchor was part of a rally organised by Sakal Hindu Samaj, spearheaded by Sangh outfits. The rally witnessed sloganeering against the Muslim community and subsequent incidents of assault. 

Newslaundry had reported on the violence that day, during which protesters allegedly pelted stones, ransacked shops owned by Muslims, and even entered their houses.

Chavhanke played a part too – he had travelled to Sangamner from Delhi where he gave a speech that was, even by his own standards, inflammatory and derogatory. 

As Newslaundry reported at the time, he had cautioned against “love jihad”, warned that Sangamner could “soon turn into Pakistan”, and said Muslim girls must “marry Hindu boys” to save themselves. 

A Sangamner police official filed a complaint in the matter and an FIR was registered on June 21. It said Chavhanke’s speech “intended to instigate communal riots and create a rift between communities”.

The police also booked Bajrang Dal leaders Vishal Wakchaure and Yogesh Suryavansi, who allegedly gave inflammatory speeches and were instrumental in organising the rally on June 6. 

However, Chavhanke claimed that there was nothing inflammatory about what he said. “This is the 1,827th FIR against me,” he told Newslaundry. “Even if I get booked 18,000 times for raising the voice of Hindus, I will continue to do so.” 

Chavhanke claimed there is “proper proof of love jihad”, referring to the Hindutva conspiracy theory that Muslim men lure Hindu women into marriage as part of an organised campaign to make India an Islamic state. 

“I have proof of everything I said,” he added, though a quick glance at Sudarshan News’s programming might give you an idea of what passes as “proof” for Chavhanke. 

Chavhanke also alleged that no riots occurred following his speech. “It was just stone pelting and you cannot term stone pelting as riots. Riot is a legal term, it was definitely not a riot…It was a small scuffle. There is nothing big about it.” 

This is contradicted by Newslaundry’s report, which also contains video footage from June 6. Seventeen people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

But as Chavhanke said, this isn’t the first FIR against him – and it’s unlikely to be the last. Last year, an interfaith wedding was cancelled in Maharashtra’s Vasai after Chavhanke tweeted a photo of the invitation, alleging “love jihad”. Read about it here.

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