Saffron outfit VHP to hold live telecast of Praveen Togadia’s speech in Hindu Virat Samavesha

Bengaluru (PTI): A day after Karnataka High Court rejected VHP’s plea for a stay on the police order banning its leader Praveen Togadia’s entry into the city on grounds of law and order, the saffron outfit has made all arrangements to live telecast his speech through video-conferencing at the ‘Hindu Virat Samavesha’ to be held here tomorrow.

“Togadia has already reached Karnataka borders and willenter the state today or tomorrow. There is a stay on his entry into Bengaluru city, but there isn’t on his giving speech through video-conferencing mechanism,” VHP’s State Public Relations Officer Manjunath Swamy told reporters here.

Justice Abdul Nazir had on Saturday turned down the interim prayer by Karnataka VHP Organising Secretary Keshav Hegde for staying the police commissioner’s order banning Togadia’s entry into the city from February 5 to 11.

City Police Commissioner MN Reddi had earlier this week imposed the ban on the ground that Togadia’s “provocative and inflammatory” speeches would have “grave” consequences and likelihood of breach of peace.

Swamy said they have invited some television channels to live telecast Togadia’s speech arranged outside Bengaluru for tomorrow’s event here.

On City Police Commissioner MN Reddi’s remark that the live telecast even from outside Bengaluru will amount to an offence, Swamy said, “It will not amount to an offence. The Police Commissioner can tell many things. Even I am an advocate and tell you that it will not amount to an offence. If it is done, then it will be an anti-democratic act.” Reddi told reporters that any speech made by Togadia through video-conferencing will amount to offence.

“It will amount to an offence. We will do everything to issue a ban order on Togadia using video-conferencing mechanism to deliver speech,” he said.

VHP had challenged the police commissioner’s prohibitory orders on Togadia’s entry into the city in the High Court with the interim prayer for a stay on the ban.

While declining the interim plea, the Judge, however, said the writ petition filed by Hegde was maintainable and adjourned the matter without mentioning the next date of hearing.