The police in Maharashtra have registered a case against Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj for allegedly using derogatory words against Mahatma Gandhi, an official said on Tuesday.
Kalicharan Maharaj alias Abhijit Sarag, a resident of Shivajinagar in old city area of Akola, made the remarks on Sunday during an event at Raipur in Chhattisgarh.
On Monday, local Congress leaders staged a protest outside the City Kotwali police station here against him for allegedly hurting the sentiments of people.
Based on a complaint filed by local Congress functionary Prashant Gawande, the police registered a case against the seer under Indian Penal Code Sections 294 (obscene acts) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), the official from Kotwali police station said.
During the conclusion of the two-day 'dharma sansad' (religious parliament) in Raipur on Sunday evening, Kalicharan Maharaj had allegedly used abusive words against Mahatma Gandhi and hailed his assassin Nathuram Godse. He had also asked people to elect a staunch Hindu leader as the head of the government in order to protect the religion.
An FIR was subsequently registered against him in Raipur.
His comments also drew a sharp criticism from Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and the issue found an echo in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Monday.
Baghel had said if a "hypocrite" thinks he can succeed in his intention by abusing the Father of the Nation and spreading venom in society, then it is his illusion.
He also said strict action will be taken under the law if anyone tries to instigate people by making such remarks.
Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik had raised the issue in the state Assembly and demanded that the religious leader be booked for treason and arrested.
"The MVA government will seek a report about the comments (of Kalicharan Maharaj) and take stern action," Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had said.