New Delhi: A petition has been filed in Supreme Court alleging “blatant hate speeches” calling for violence and social and economic boycott of Muslims at rallies in different states, including Haryana where recent communal clashes claimed six lives.
The petition was mentioned on Tuesday before a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the plea before the Chief Justice of India, who was heading a five-judge Constitution bench that is hearing arguments on petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
As the Constitution bench was about to rise for the lunch break, Mr Sibal, who was arguing, said a “very serious thing” has happened in Gurugram.
“There is a very serious thing that has happened in Gurugram where there is a call… that if you employ these people (Muslims) in shops, you will all be ‘gaddaars’ (traitors),” he said.
The petition, filed by journalist Shaheen Abdullah, has referred to the August 2 order of the court, which said, “We hope and trust that the state governments and police will ensure that no hate speeches irrespective of identity are made against any community and there is no physical violence or damage to properties”.
Observing that hate speeches vitiate the atmosphere, the top court had said that wherever required, adequate police force or paramilitary force would be deployed and the authorities, including the police, will use the CCTV cameras installed or record/make video recording in all sensitive areas.
The petition said despite the court order, over 27 rallies were organized in various states where hate speeches were made.
It contains a table showing some of the rallies that took place between August 1 and August 7, with relevant video links.
“In a video that surfaced on social media on August 2… a procession by the “Samhast Hindu Samaj” can be seen walking through a neighborhood in Hisar, Haryana, in the presence of police officers, issuing warnings to residents/shopkeepers that if they continue to employ/keep any Muslims after 2 days then their shops will be boycotted,” it said.
The petition claimed open calls for violence and boycott of Muslims were made by a leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in the presence of police in Sagar in Madhya Pradesh on August 4.
“It is submitted that such rallies that demonize communities and openly call for violence and killing of people are not limited in terms of their impact to just those areas that are presently dealing with communal tensions but will inevitably lead to communal disharmony and violence of an unfathomable scale across the country,” it said.
It has sought directions from the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, and Director General of Police of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and other authorities to take adequate action and ensure such rallies are not allowed. It has also sought action against police officials participating in such rallies or failing to ensure that hate speeches are not delivered.
Six people, including two Home Guards and a cleric, died in last week’s communal clashes that first erupted in Nuh when a Vishwa Hindu Parishad procession was attacked by mobs. The communal clashes later spread to Gurugram.
A total of 312 people have been arrested and 106 taken into preventive detention. Besides, 142 FIRs have been registered in places including Nuh, Gurugram, Faridabad, Palwal, Rewari, Panipat, and Bhiwani, state Home Minister Anil Vij has said.