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SC Lawyers Ask CJI to Take Suo Moto Notice of Hate Speech Calling for ‘Genocide of Muslims’

The letter reported those who gave open calls for ‘genocide of Muslims in order to achieve ethnic cleansing’, including the controversial priest Yati Narsinghanand Giri and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay.
SC Lawyers Ask CJI to Take Suo Moto Notice of Hate Speech Calling for ‘Genocide of Muslims’

Image Courtesy: National Herald

As many as 76 Supreme Court lawyers have written to Chief Justice of India NC Ramana urging him to take suo moto cognizance of the two separate events organised in Delhi and Haridwar, Uttarakhand on December 17 and 19, 2021, in which hate speeches with open calls for genocide of Muslims were made.

The SC lawyers in their letter requested the CJI for issuance of directions for taking action against the guilty persons under Sections 120B, 121A, 124A, 153A, 153B, 295A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Live Law reported.

Videos of Hindutva group members and seers, including a media professional and a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, calling for violence against Muslims at the two events have been widely shared and condemned on social media since December 22. 

“The aforementioned events and the speeches delivered during the same are not mere hate speeches but amount to an open call for murder of an entire community. The said speeches thus, pose a grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens,” the letter of the SC lawyers read.

They further underlined that these were not one-off events and such speeches have been made in the recent past as well. “It is also pointed out that the recent speeches are a part of a series of similar speeches that we have come across in the past. It may be noted that no effective steps have been taken under the provisions of 153, 153A, 153B, 295A, 504, 506, 120B, 34 of IPC in respect of the earlier hate speeches. Thus, urgent judicial intervention is required to prevent such events that seem to have become the order of the day,” the letter said.

The letter listed nine people including Yati Narsinghanand Giri, the head priest of a temple in Ghaziabad, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwani Upadhyay, and Suresh Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, as those who gave open calls for “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims. 

In one of the videos shared on social media, Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, can be seen administering an oath to a group of people to “die for and kill” to make India a “Hindu Rashtra” or a Hindu nation. Delhi (by the Hindu Yuva Vahini). He made the speech while addressing an event organised by the Hindutva group Hindu Yuva Vahini in Delhi on December 19.

The Uttarakhand event was organised by Yati Narsinghanand at Haridwar from December 17 to 19. Narsinghanand, the priest known for his controversial comments targeting Muslims and accused of inciting communal tension, speaking at the event referred to ‘Islamic Jihad’, and said “The Economic boycott [of Muslims] will not work… No community can survive without picking up weapons.” He further elaborated that swords were not going to work as weapons anymore and there was a need to update them while producing more offspring to protect the Hindu community. 

BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who was arrested earlier this year in connection with an anti-Muslim hate speech case, was present on stage at the Haridwar event as well and presented a “bhagwa samvidhaan” (saffron constitution) there. He declared that whatever Narsinghanand was saying was not ‘unconstitutional’. 

The lawyers concluded the letter saying, “We are writing to your Lordship hoping for prompt action in your capacity as the head of the judicial wing of the State and knowing your Lordship's commitment to both the independence of Judiciary as also the constitutional values that are fundamental to the functioning of a multicultural nation such as ours.”

The Uttarakhand police on Sunday added two more names to the FIR filed against the hate speech at the Haridwar event. The Haridwar police had registered a case under Section 153A of the IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) against Wasim Rizvi and “others”. RIzvi, former chairman of Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, had recently converted to Hinduism. The new names added were Annapurna Maa alias Pooja Shakun Pandey and Dharamdas Maharaj, The Hindu reported. Both of these persons were also mentioned in the letter by SC lawyers.

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