Indian police on Thursday arrested a Hindu religious leader for allegedly making a derogatory speech against India’s independence leader Mahatma Gandhi and praising his assassin.

Kalicharan Maharaj was arrested in central Madhya Pradesh state on Thursday for allegedly promoting hatred between religious groups in a speech earlier this week, the Press Trust of India news agency cited police officer Prashant Agrawal as saying.

According to media reports, Maharaj said “Gandhi destroyed the country … salutations to Nathuram Godse, who killed him.”


He will be formally charged in court after the police complete an investigation. If convicted, he can be jailed for up to five years.