SC to hear plea on Haridwar hate speech tomorrow


The Hindu

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Supreme Court to hear plea on Haridwar hate speech tomorrow

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana is scheduled on Wednesday (January 12) to urgently hear a petition seeking the arrest and trial of people who made hate speeches, inciting violence towards Muslims, at the Haridwar Dharm Sansad.

The other judges on the Bench are Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli. The CJI had on Monday assured senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing in the petition, that the court would list the case quickly.

“The hate speeches consisted of open calls for genocide of Muslims in order to achieve ethnic cleansing. The speeches are not mere hate speeches but amount to an open call for murder of an entire community. The 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 petitioners, former High Court judge Anjana Prakash and journalist Qurban Ali, had highlighted in the apex court.

“We are living in different times where slogans in the country have changed from Satyamev Jayate to Shashtramev Jayate,” Sibal had submitted in court during the oral mentioning on Monday.

The senior lawyer had said no investigation or arrests have been made despite the registration of FIRs. Video footage raises suspicions of police being hand-in-glove with the orators of hate.

The hate speeches were allegedly delivered between December 17 and 19, 2021, in Haridwar by Yati Narsinghanand and in Delhi by ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’. The petition has sought an independent, credible and impartial probe by a special investigation team into the hate speeches against the Muslim community.

The petitioners said “despite the passage of almost three weeks no effective steps have been taken by the police authorities, including non-application of Sections 120B, 121A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 that squarely apply to hate speeches”.

“The blatant inaction by the police also came into the forefront when a police officer’s video went viral on the internet, wherein one of speakers openly acknowledged the officer’s allegiance with the organisers and speakers of the Dharam Sansad... the police authorities are hand in glove with the perpetrators of communal hate,” the petitioners has argued.

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