NEW DELHI — As Delhi Police have arrested six men including former BJP spokesperson and lawyer Ashwani Upadhyaya in connection with the case over hate speeches and Islamophobic slogans by Hindutva supporters targeting Muslims at a rally in Jantar Mantar, a lawyer’s group has written a letter urging the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognizance of the matter.
The All India Lawyers Association for Justice in its letter has sought registration of suo motu petition and issue directions for necessary relief in the matter of hate speeches against Muslim community “threatening their very existence and equal citizen status”
The letter while giving background of the event at Jantar Mantar and reference to the news reports (including one by Clarion India) about hate and violent speeches says such blatant intimidation and calls for genocide in Delhi in police presence “spells death knell for democracy and rule of law”.
The lawyer’s group said that such calls for elimination of an entire religious community come within the internationally accepted understanding of genocide, and police has acted as mute bystanders, witnessing the crime.
“There is a need for court-monitored investigation and prosecution,” they demanded.
The letter also underlines the rally in Dwarka on Friday against proposed Haj House where speeches targeting Muslims were also made.
The group requested the apex court to consider the representation as a plea while explaining how the hate speeches at the rallies were an attack on the constitution and secularism.
It alleges that the police silence amounts to abatement of genocide, adding that such calls “come within the internationally accepted understanding of genocide.”
“The actions of individual organisations in blatantly undermining constitutional values ought to have been met with an iron fist of law,” the letter says and laments that the state has failed to discharge its duty.
The video from the rally has triggered massive outrage on social media with people asking the police why such a rally was allowed in the heart of Delhi.
It shows a group of men chanting: “Jab Mulle Kate Jaenge Ram Ram Chillaayenge (When Mulle, a derogatory reference to Muslims, would be slaughtered they would cry Ram Ram).”
Flyers calling for “anhilation of Islam” and “genocide of Muslims” were also distributed during the event.
The Jantar Mantar rally took place two days after a similar rally was held in Delhi’s Dwarka by Hindutva supporters against the proposed Haj House in Sector 22 of the area. In that event too, provocative slogans were raised and hate speeches made. The police had remained mute spectators. However, after outrage they filed an FIR but only invoking sections for violation of Covid-19 restriction norms.
On Monday, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) issued a notice to Delhi’s Deputy Commissioner of Police asking him to inform them about the action that had been taken in the matter.
The notice which has been issued on the direction of Vice-Chairman of the commission Atif Rasheed, said the panel took suo motu cognisance of the news in social media regarding the “Bharat Jodo Movement” rally at Jantar Mantar, wherein anti-Muslim slogans were raised,
“The same has hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community. You are directed to be present in the commission on 10.8.2021 at 12 noon,” it said.
The commission also asked police authorities to explain on whose permission was such an event organised and what are the measures taken to prevent such incidents in future.
Amidst no let up in outrage over the hate rally that took place in the heart of the national capital, civil society groups have come together and issued a call to people to join a “peace rally” at Jantar Mantar to be held on Tuesday at 4PM.
This story first appeared on clarionindia.net