CJP lodges additional police complaints against Nitesh Rane and Ashwini Upadhyay for hate speeches (CJP)

Hate Watch

Incendiary remarks by Nitesh Rane and Ashwini Upadhyay span multiple locations in Maharashtra

By CJP Team

We at CJP have been closely monitoring the incidents of hate speeches delivered by leaders across the country, and have sent numerous complaints to police and administration, particularly in the state of Maharashtra. The three complaints filed this time were delivered in the first three months of this year by repeat offenders Nitesh Rane, who is elected member of legislative assembly from Kankavli assembly constituency, and Ashwini Upadhyay, the Supreme Court lawyer, known for filing spate of Public Interest Litigations. Notably, both the leaders are members of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), the ruling party, both at the state and at the Centre. Two of these speeches were delivered in events organized by newfound fringe organization Sakal Hindu Samaj. The given speeches were delivered in Akola, Mahabaleshwar, and Ghatkopar.

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The reported hate speeches repeatedly denigrate Muslim community by spreading conspiracy theories about ‘love jihad’, ‘land jihad’, and ‘population jihad’, apart from threatening physical violence and social ostracisation. The now demolished Babri Masjid and Madrasas remain other sites of constant barrage by the speakers.

This week, on April 8, 2024, we dispatched all the three complaints to the Superintendents of Police (SPs) and District Magistrates (DMs), urging prompt action, beginning with registration of complaints and investigation in these cases. Additionally, all the complaints sent through email have been marked to the Director General of Police (DGP) of the state, Rashmi Shukla. Evidence of the videos of these controversial speeches have also been provided. In these complaints, CJP has urged registration of offences under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity) and 505 (statements conducing public mischief). We have invoked the binding judicial order of the Supreme Court in the Shaheen Abdullah vs Union of Indian (Writ Petition (Civil) 940/2022), which mandate the police to suo moto register cases in incidents of hate speeches, as per the relevant provisions of the law.

This story was originally published in cjp.org.in. Read the full story here.


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