Plea in SC over hate speeches calling for killing and boycott of Muslims
Observing that hate speeches vitiate the atmosphere, SC had said that wherever required, adequate police force or para-military force would be deployed
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court over alleged "blatant hate speeches" calling for killing Muslims and their social and economic boycott delivered at rallies in different states, including Haryana where recent communal clashes claimed six lives.
The petition was mentioned on Tuesday, August 8, before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the plea before the CJI, who was heading a five-judge constitution bench which is hearing arguments on the 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, Sibal, who was arguing in the Article 370 matter, 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 'gaddars' (traitors)," he said. Sibal said a petition has been filed in the apex court over it.
The application, filed by journalist Shaheen Abdullah, has referred to the August 2 order of the apex court which said, "We hope and trust that the state governments and police will ensure that no hate speeches irrespective of the identity are made against any community and there is no physical violence or damage to the properties."
Observing that hate speeches vitiate the atmosphere, the top court had said that wherever required, adequate police force or para-military 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 application said despite the apex court's order, over 27 rallies were organised in various states where hate speeches were made.
"Despite the aforementioned order, more than 27 rallies have been organised across various states where blatant hate speeches calling for the killing and social and economic boycott of Muslims have been openly delivered," it said.
The application contains a table showing some of the rallies that have taken place between August 1, 2023 and August 7 with relevant video links.
"In a video that surfaced on social media on August 2, 2023 a procession by the 'Samhast Hindu Samaj' can be seen walking through a neighbourhood in Hisar, Haryana in the presence of police officials 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 application claimed open calls for violence and boycott of Muslims were made by a VHP leader 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 to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi and Director General of Police of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and other authorities to take adequate action and ensure such rallies are not allowed.
If the authorities concerned fail to stop such rallies, an explanation be sought from them asking what measures the had taken and why they failed to prevent them, the petition says. It has sought immediate action against police officials participating in such rallies or failing to ensure that hate speeches are not delivered.
The top court had passed the August 2 order after senior advocate C U Singh, appearing for Abdullah, said that 23 demonstrations have been announced by Hindu right groups Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal in various parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) over Haryana clashes.
Six people, including two home guards and a cleric, died in last week's communal clashes that first erupted in Nuh when a Vishva 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 in connection with the communal clashes in Haryana.
Besides, 142 FIRs have been registered in places including Nuh, Gurugram, Faridabad, Palwal, Rewari, Panipat and Bhiwani, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said in a statement on Tuesday.