Nehru's great-grandson arrested in India

The great-grandson of India's first prime minister was arrested today as police investigated charges against him of making hate speeches and inciting violence against Muslims ahead of national elections, a court official said.

A political furor erupted after Varun Gandhi, 29, was filmed comparing a rival Muslim politician to Osama bin Laden and threatening to cut the throats of Muslims at two political rallies earlier this month.



Gandhi belongs to the powerful Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has produced three prime ministers over six decades and has long promoted a secular government and tolerance for religious minorities. However, he is a member of the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.



Gandhi drove through the streets of Pilibhit, a town in the state of Uttar Pradesh where he is seeking a parliamentary seat, accompanied by thousands of supporters waving saffron Hindu flags. Pilibhit is about 135 miles east of New Delhi.



He then turned himself in at the court, said Chief Judicial Magistrate Nitin Kumar. He will be jailed until Monday, when he can seek release on bail, Kumar said.



If convicted, Gandhi could be disqualified from running for office and imprisoned for up to three years.



On March 17, India's Election Commission directed officials in Uttar Pradesh state to file a criminal case against him for promoting hatred. The Hindu nationalist party this past week refused to drop him as a candidate.



Gandhi, a descendant of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, denied making the comments, saying the video had been tampered with.



"I am innocent. I have been falsely implicated in a conspiracy," he told reporters today. He did not accuse anyone by name.



The commission said it is "fully convinced and satisfied" that the video "has not been tampered with, doctored or morphed."



The video of rallies on March 6 and 8 in Pilibhit, a constituency once held by Gandhi's mother, Maneka Gandhi, a daughter-in-law of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, has been broadcast repeatedly on Indian television channels in the past two weeks.



"All the Hindus stay on this side and send the others to Pakistan," he says in the video.



"This is the lotus hand," he says, referring to the symbol of his party. "It will cut their throats after elections."



Voting in India's national elections will be held in April and May.



Muslims make up some 14 percent of India's 1.1 billion citizens. Muslims and majority Hindus have a long history of tension and mistrust that sometimes erupts into violence.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
football
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

.NET Developer / Web Developer / Software Developer - £37,000

£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

Biology Teacher

Main Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Biology Teacher to A Level - Female...

SAP Assessor

£26000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: SAP Assessor Job T...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering