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World Briefing / India

Politician arrested over speech

March 29, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Police in northern India arrested a great-grandson of the country's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, over allegations that he made inflammatory comments against Muslims.

Police fired in the air and baton-charged a crowd of at least 10,000 of Varun Gandhi's supporters shouting pro-Hindu slogans as he was arrested in his constituency in Uttar Pradesh, a crucial state in the April-May general election.

Gandhi is a member of India's powerful Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and an election candidate for the Hindu-nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

In a speech early this month, Gandhi allegedly threatened to cut off the hands of those who harm Hindus, and crudely compared a rival Muslim candidate to Osama bin Laden.

The 29-year-old Gandhi has said video of his speech was doctored to tarnish his image.

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