Ever since Wasim Rizvi embraced Hindu Dharma and became Jitendra Tyagi, he has faced constant harassment from Islamists and anti-Hindu secular state machinery. He has faced a barrage of issues from threats to cases.
The Prayagraj (Allahabad) High Court denied anticipatory bail to Jitendra Tyagi in a 2021 rape case filed by his former driver’s wife. The bench led by Justice Mohammad Faiz Alam turned down Jitendra’s appeal citing non-bailable warrants issued against him by Lucknow’s Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate and added that he found no grounds to grant him protection from arrest.
“Having regard to the various orders passed by the Magistrate directing the investigating officer to conclude the investigation at the earliest, primafacie there is substance in the apprehension of informant/victim. The State in its instructions has mentioned the long criminal history of the applicant comprising 35 cases starting from the year 1994 till 2022 and in the considered opinion of this Court, criminal antecedents and conduct of the accused is a relevant factor at the time of consideration of plea of anticipatory bail,” the Court observed.
A rape case was filed by Jitendra’s former driver stating that her husband’s employer had raped her repeatedly in 2021 by threatening to harm her children. The victim states that she informed her husband of Tyagi’s ‘misdeeds’ and subsequently the victim’s family vacated the residence provided by Jitendra.
In his defence, Jitendra highlighted that Islamist fundamentalists were against him and were instrumental in getting the false rape case filed against him. He said that the Islamists were against his ideology and the petitions filed by him in the Supreme Court.
Interestingly, the rape allegations were made just a few months after he filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the removal of 26 verses from the Quran stating that these verses were “violent by nature and not part of the original Quran and were added after the death of Prophet Mohammad”. Since then, Jitendra (then Rizvi) has faced a barrage of threats from Islamists.
Atif Rasheed, the chairperson of the national commission for minorities (NCW) termed Rizvi’s move a conspiracy to disturb the communal harmony of the country and added that the petition hurts the sentiments of a religious minority community. NCW Joint Secretary, Daniel Richards asked him to withdraw his comments and seek an unconditional apology within 21 days or face legal action.
“Rizvi is neither a Hindu nor a Muslim but is the devil and whoever brings me the decapitated head of this devil, will be paid 11 lakhs as prize money. If the amount falls short I will sell my children to settle (the amount). Had this happened under Islamic law, Rizvi, by now would have been stoned to death”, announced former district bar association president Amirul Hasan.
Other forms of hatred towards Waseem Rizvi were also reported from various Sunni and Shia organizations. This included the burning of his effigy, demands for his execution, the demolition of his mother’s grave, and the ‘cancellation’ of a grave that was purportedly reserved by Rizvi. It must be highlighted that Rizvi had written to PM Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath asking them to shut down madrassas as they produce terrorists in 2018.
The apex court subsequently threw out Rizvi’s petition and slapped a fine of fifty thousand terming the petition ‘frivolous’. In December 2021, Rizvi renounced Islam and reverted to Hindu Dharma assuming the name Jitendra Tyagi. Telangana Congress leader Rashed Khan offered a bounty on Jitendra for converting to Hindu Dharma.
In January last year, the Uttarakhand police arrested Jitendra Tyagi for his ‘hate speech’ at the three-day-long Haridwar Dharm Sansad held in December 2021. They filed a case against him under IPC section 153A for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.