While hearing the Haridwar hate speech petition, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Uttarakhand government asking its response for the petition that was seeking action against the hate speeches in the Haridwar three day conclave in December last year. The bench had asked the government to reply within the next 10 days.
Kapil Sibal represented the petitioners and he asked for the case to be heard next week, on January 17. He also pointed out how there are more such events planned by the previous organized in the country, like the one in Aligarh on January 23.
He said, “No arrests have happened, the country’s atmosphere will be vitiated, it is contrary to what this Republic stands for, its ethos and values we cherish. This is a clear incitement to violence.”
The court, however, has denied taking up the case on January 17 but allowed the petitioners to take police help in places where such events are held.
In December 2021, there was a three-day ‘Dharam Sansad’ in Haridwar by Hindutva leaders. The conclave saw many self-proclaimed godmen, peddling hate against Muslims. There were multiple videos that went viral on social media, especially Twitter. However, the Uttrakhand police did not arrest anyone on the case. FIRs were filed, in which, some of these people were named.
The first FIR was filed on December 23, against Wasim Rizwi, former chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Central Shia Waqf Board, and two others. The second was filed on January 2, which named 10 people who were supposedly in connection to the Sansad. They were: Yati Narasimhanand Giri, Rizvi, Sindhu Sagar, Parmananda, Anand Swaroop, Ashwini Upadhyay, Dharamdas, Sadhvi Annapurna, Suresh Chahwan, and Prabodhanand Giri.
The Supreme Court on Monday has agreed to hear a PIL seeking action against the participants of the Dharam Sansad who gave hate speeches. The bench headed by NV Ramana told Senior advocate Kapil Sibal representing the petitioners in the case, that the bench will take up the matter. However, he also asked if there has been some action to which, Sibal said, ‘FIRs have been filed, no arrests have been done. This is in the State of Uttarakhand. Without the intervention of your lordships no action will be taken.”
“I have moved this PIL in respect of what happened at the Dharam Sansad in Haridwar on December 17 and 19. We are living in difficult times where slogans in the country have changed from ‘Satyamev Jayate’ to ‘Shashtramev Jayate’.
Petitions were filed by journalist Qurban Ali and former Patna High court judge Anjana Prakash. They had approached the apex court seeking urgent intervention in the matte as even after the filing of FIRs there were no actions taken by the police of either of the state. The petition mentioned two incidents that happened on December 17 and 19, one in Haridwar and the other in Delhi. These events were conducted by Yati Narasimhanand and Hindu Yuva Vahini respectively.
The plea also said, “it is also relevant to note that no action whatsoever has been taken by the Delhi Police in relation with the event held in Delhi despite the fact that open calls for genocide, that are available on the internet, were made therein.”
Petitions were filed against the Ministry of Home Affairs, the director-general of Uttarakhand police, and the Delhi Police commissioner. It is to be noted that public hate crimes have been on the rise in the past few months.