Six Hindu Mahasabha activists arrested for celebrating Nathuram Godse’s birthday in Surat

Six Hindu Mahasabha activists arrested for celebrating Nathuram Godses birthday in SuratAmid a raging controversy over BJP leader Sadhi Pragya Thakurs remark wherein she called Mahatma Gandhis assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot, police in Gujarats Surat has arrested six Hindu Mahasabha activists for allegedly celebrating the birth anniversary of Godse. Police said that all the six had organised an event to mark Godses birthday at a temple in the city on Sunday. Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said that Hindu Mahasabha activists had observed the celebration in the premises of Suryamukhi Hanuman temple in Limbyayat area of the city, following which they were taken into custody on Monday. As a part of the celebration, the arrested members lit up diyas around Godses photo, exchanged sweets and sang bhajans in the temple premise. They even made videos and took photographs of the event and shared on social media platforms. Sharma informed that the Hindu Mahasabha activists had hurt the sentiments of citizens by observing the birth anniversary of Godse and tried to create a law and order situation. Their act of revering Godse, who had killed Gandhiji, deeply hurt the sentiments of citizens. It was an attempt to incite people and disturb the peaceful atmosphere, Sharma said. Nathuram Godse a member of the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha. But in 1946, Godse claimed to have left both the organisations. He was born on May 19 in 1910 in Baramati in Pune district, then in Bombay Presidency. He assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi on 30 January 1948. Godse was sentenced to death in November 1949 and hanged at Ambala Central Jail on November 15 same year. All the six were arrested under IPC sections 153 (provocation with an intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups, doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 153B (making assertions prejudicial to national integration). They have been identified as Hiren Mashru, Vala Bharwad, Viral Malvi, Hitesh Sonar, Yogesh Patel and Manish Kalal. The controversy surrounding Godse started after actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said that the first extremist of Independent India was a Hindu and his name was Nathuram Godse. Immediately after this Thakur, who is seeking election from Bhopal against Congress Digvijaya Singh, said that Godse was a deshbhakt (patriot), is a deshbhakt and will remain the one. Her remark triggered a massive controversy, forcing PM Narendra Modi to issue a statement that he will never forgive Thakur for her remark.