The Supreme Court has pulled up Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh governments for failing to contain hate-mongering against the Muslim community during Dharam Sansad-like programmes.
On Tuesday (April 26), the apex court expressed concern over hate speeches delivered at religious events and asked the two states to file affidavits and list the preemptive steps taken to curb such happenings in future.
“If the hate speech is not stopped, the [Uttarakhand] Chief Secretary will be held responsible. We will summon the Chief Secretary to the court,” the judges said, seeking the state’s assurance that no untoward statement will be made at the ‘Dharam Sansad’.
“Follow the Supreme Court’s guideline regarding hate speech. Take all steps necessary to stop hate speech,” the SC judges said, ahead of the event scheduled for Wednesday (April 27).
The top court had on January 12 issued notice on the plea which has sought direction to ensure investigation and action against those who allegedly made hate speeches during two events held in Haridwar and the national capital last December. The top court was hearing a petition filed by journalist Qurban Ali and former Patna High Court judge and senior advocate Anjana Prakash, who have also sought a direction for an “independent, credible and impartial investigation” by an SIT into the incidents of hate speeches against the Muslim community. One event was organised in Haridwar by Yati Narsinghanand and the other in Delhi by ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’ allegedly “calling for genocide of members” of a community, it has said.
The Uttarakhand Police had filed an FIR on December 23 last year under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against some persons including Sant Dharamdas Maharaj, Sadhvi Annapoorna alias Pooja Shakun Pandey, Yati Narsinghanand and Sagar Sindhu Maharaj.
A similar complaint was filed with the Delhi Police for the second event organised in the national capital. The plea has alleged that no effective steps have been taken by the Uttarakhand and the Delhi Police.
During another hearing on April 26, the Supreme Court posed serious questions to the Himachal Pradesh government over an event held a few days back where hate speeches were delivered against Muslims with calls for Hindus to resort to violence.
“The government has to stop such activity. The state government will have to let us know whether any preventive measures were taken or not,” the court said, asking the state administration led by the BJP why it failed to act against hate-mongering.
The SC asked the Himachal government to file an affidavit by May 7 and explain steps the administration plans to take to prevent such incidents in future.