Pointing to the religious conclaves in Haridwar and Delhi, the letter — signed by eminent lawyers including Dushyant Dave, Prashant Bhushan and Vrinda Grover, Salman Khurshid and former Patna High Court judge Anjana Prakash — read: “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 speeches, the letter said, pose a “grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens”.
Following outrage and condemnation on social media over the open calls for genocide and use of weapons against Muslims, a police case was filed four days after the Haridwar event, in which only one person was named. Two more names were later added – Dharm Das and one Sadhvi Annapurna.
In one of the videos, “Sadhvi Annapurna” – formerly called Pooja Shakun Pandey — is heard saying, “If you want to finish them off, then kill them… We need 100 soldiers who can kill 20 lakh of them to win this”.
Those who organised the event and gave hate speeches, claim they did no wrong.
Hindu Raksha Sena’s Prabodhanand Giri — photographed often with BJP leaders including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Dhami — said he is “not ashamed” of what he said. “I am not afraid of police. I stand by my statement,” he had told NDTV.
In one of the videos circulated on social media, he is heard saying: “Like Myanmar, our police, our politicians, our Army and every Hindu must pick up weapons and conduct a Safayi Abhiyan (ethnic cleansing). There is no other option left”.
“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,” read the letter sent to Chief Justice Ramana. It also pointed out that several petitions have been filed on it and are pending with the court.
“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 advocates have appealed.
With inputs from NDTV