‘Ethnic Cleansing’: Top SC lawyers seek CJI’s immediate intervention in Haridwar hate event

Several top lawyers of the Supreme Court wrote to Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana on Sunday, seeking his immediate intervention in two religious events held recently – one in Delhi and the other in Haridwar – where opens calls to use violence against Muslims were made.

76 lawyers of Supreme Court lawyers on Sunday requested the CJI to take suo moto cognisance of the calls for ‘ethnic cleansing’ in absence of concrete police action and listed out the names of the people, involved in the hate speeches.

Eminent lawyers, including Dushyant Dave, Prashant Bhushan and Vrinda Grover, Salman Khurshid and former Patna High Court judge Anjana Prakash, were among the signatories of the letter.

“The aforementioned events and the speeches delivered during the same are not mere hate speeches but amount to an open call for murder of an entire community,” they wrote in the letter.

The letter further read, “The speeches pose a grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens.”

A video from ‘Dharma Sansad’ in Uttrakhand’s Haridwar district was livestreamed on social media and the speeches went viral, sparking a major political storm and drew widespread condemnation.

Religious leaders can be heard giving open calls for genocide against and use of weapons against Muslims.

The three-day hate speech conference organised by Yati Narsinghanand, was attended by several others including Annapurna Maa, Dharamdas Maharaj from Bihar, Anand Swaroop Maharaj, Sagar Sindhuraj Maharaj, Swami Premanand Maharaj, and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay.

In one of the videos, Sadhvi Annapurna said, “If you want to finish them off, then kill them… We need 100 soldiers who can kill 20 lakh of them to win this”.

Although, the Haridwar Police have registered cases against three religious leaders, no strict action has been taken so far.

Meanwhile, the organizers of the event and those who gave hate speeches claim they did no wrong. Hindu Raksha Sena’s Prabodhanand Giri told NDTV that he is “not ashamed” of what he said. “I am not afraid of police. I stand by my statement,” he said.

In one of the viral videos, he said, “Like Myanmar, our police, our politicians, our Army and every Hindu must pick up weapons and conduct a Safayi Abhiyan (ethnic cleansing). There is no other option left”.

In their letter to the CJI Ramana, the lawyers wrote, “It may be noted that no effective steps have been taken under the provisions of 153, 153A, 153B, 295A, 504, 506, 120B, 34 of IPC in respect of the earlier hate speeches. Thus, urgent judicial intervention is required to prevent such events that seem to have become the order of the day.”

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