Varun Gandhi exonerated in hate speech case

Lucknow, May 3 (IANS) A court Friday exonerated BJP general secretary Varun Gandhi of charges of inciting mob violence and firing at police four years ago.

Varun Gandhi has now been absolved of all charges against him in the case.

The ruling was given by a court in Pilibhit, 260 km from state capital Lucknow.

He was also exonerated for giving a hate speech aimed at arousing communal passions against a specific community March 3 this year.

He was given relief in another similar case in February due to lack of evidence.

The cases were slapped by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government on him March 8, 2009, for spreading hatred against a religious community, inciting violence and firing at police. He spent 20 days in jail before he was released on bail and later won his Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket from Pilibhit.

The eye-witnesses could not validate the charges even as journalists who reported the event could not furnish unedited and raw footage of the speech in which Varun Gandhi was accused of threatening to chop off the hands of members of a certain community.

BJP leaders said they always maintained that the charges against Varun Gandhi were part of a larger conspiracy to prevent him from being active in politics.

Varun Gandhi has been promoted as a prominent face in Uttar Pradesh politics by party president Rajnath Singh. He is likely to be the star campaigner for the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

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