2022: The Year Hate Got Away Scot-Free In India
As 2022 came to a close, Article 14 revisited events where Hindu extremists called for violence and the economic exclusion of India’s Muslims, discovering how the climate of impunity allowed them to radicalise Hindus without fear of the law. Even after the Supreme Court directed the governments of UP, Uttarakhand and Delhi to promptly register FIRs against hate speeches in October, Hindu priests and politicians continued gathering for hate events in the country.
Delhi: “Wherever you see them, if you want to set their minds right, then there is only one treatment and that is total boycott. Do you all agree? Raise your hands if you agree. Now say with me that we will completely boycott them, we will not buy anything from their shops and stalls, we won’t give them any labour. You just do this. This is their treatment.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of parliament for west Delhi, Parvesh Verma, can be heard making these remarks in viral videos of the ‘Virat Hindu Sabha’, a public protest meeting organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other Hindu groups on 9 October 2022 at the Ramlila Maidan in northeast Delhi.
A poster circulated by VHP’s national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said the meeting was called to protest against the “brutal killing of Hindu youth Manish by Jihadis”.
Manish, a 19 year old boy, was stabbed to death in Delhi’s Sunder Nagri in public view on 1 October 2022. CCTV captured the now-arrested accused—Alam, Faizan and Bilal— stabbing him as the bystanders watched. The police said the accused attacked Manish due to a personal enmity which started last year when Manish was attacked by the accused’s accomplices Mohsin and Shakir.
Even as the Delhi Police ruled out any communal angle in this case, Hindutva leaders and three BJP lawmakers used it as a pretext for giving hate speeches targeting Muslims.
Article 14 revisited more than 20 events organised in seven states of India since August 2021, where Hindu extremists called for killing of Muslims and building a “Hindu nation”, gave a call to “finish Islam”, took an oath to train in weapons and asked Hindu women to produce more children.
An examination of media reports and follow up with police officials suggests people were booked and arrests made in very few cases. This climate impunity allowed for the same hate mongers to gather again and again in different cities to radicalise Hindus against Muslims.
In five of the seven states we examined—Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Maharashtra—the BJP was in power. (It recently lost Himachal Pradesh to the Congress Party). In Delhi, the government was of the Aam Aadmi Party, but the Delhi police reports to the ministry of home affairs, presently under the BJP.
In Chhattisgarh, where the government was led by the Indian National Congress, an FIR was filed in December 2021 and an arrest was made.
Nine of the events were addressed or attended by the BJP lawmakers. They were: BJP MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur, BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma, BJP MLA from Delhi Ajay Mahawar, BJP MLA from Loni Nand Kishore Gurjar,, BJP leader Satish Upadhyay, BJP MLA from Ambala Aseem Goyal, BJP MLA from Koil Anil Parashar, BJP MLA from Aligarh Mukta Raja, BJP MLA from Sohna Sanjay Singh.
The Supreme Court, while hearing a petition filed by journalist Shaheen Abdullah, against hate speeches on 21 October 2022, came down heavily on police’s inaction in curbing hate speeches and issued a set of directions.
BJP MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur, while addressing an event organised by Hindu Jagaran Vedike on 25 December 2022 in Karnataka’s Shivamogga, gave a call to “keep weapons at home” and said, “Answer those involved in love jihad in the same style. Protect your girls, teach them the right values. Keep weapons in your homes. If nothing else, at least keep knives used to cut vegetables sharp.”
Two complaints were filed with Shivamogga Police against Thakur seeking registration of FIRs against her, one by political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla on 26 December, and the other by All India Trinamool Congress’s national spokesperson Saket Gokhale on 27 December.
The deputy superintendent of police of Shivamogga Umesh Naik told Article 14 on 26 December that no FIR against Thakur has been registered yet. “As soon as we get the complaint, a case will be registered”, he said.
A bench comprising Justice KM Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy said, “There cannot be fraternity unless members of the community drawn from different religions or castes are able to live in harmony” and directed the governments of Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh to file a report informing the court about the actions taken against hate speeches made in their respective states.
The court directed these governments to take suo moto action against hate speech without waiting for a complaint, saying that “any hesitation to act in accordance with these directions will be viewed as contempt of court and appropriate action shall be taken against the erring officers”.
A Gathering In Delhi
BJP MP Parvesh Verma had vowed to end a protest led by mostly Muslim women against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and demolish mosques on state land, in the run up to the Delhi Assembly elections in 2020.
In his speech at the Ram Leela maidan on 9 October, Verma, without naming any community, said, “I want to mention that our police and Hindu youth are capable of teaching them a lesson within 24 hours. But we follow the law and believe that the killers of Manish will be sentenced to death by hanging.”
In another viral video from the event, Jagat Guru Yogeshwar Acharya, regarded as a spiritual leader, can be heard saying, “What happened with Manish today is very unfortunate and with deep sadness, I have to say that the government wants such terrorists and mlechchhas (a derogatory term meaning invaders which is used for Indian Muslims) to do such barbaric killings.”
He went on to issue a call to “identify and kill”, saying, “They have not one, but many (children). They want to marry not once, but 14 times and have 40 children. We should also pay attention to this and do the act of identifying them and killing them.”
The second BJP lawmaker who addressed the hate assembly was Ajay Mahawar, the MLA from north east Delhi’s Ghonda constituency.
“Those who eat in Hindustan and sing praises of Pakistan make a queue, I will arrange for them to go to Pakistan. Don’t mistake our simplicity for cowardice,” he said.
The BJP MLA From Loni
The third BJP lawmaker who spoke was the MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Loni constituency Nand Kishore Gurjar. He began his speech by calling Mohammed Akhlaq, the ironsmith lynched by cow vigilantes in 2015, a “pig” and a “cow slaughterer”.
“When a pig and cow slaughterer named Akhlaq was killed in Dadri, then Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Akhilesh Yadav cry as if their son-in-law has died. But when Sheru Bhati is killed in Dadri by jihadis, then nobody among them goes.”
Sher Singh Bhati alias Sheru Bhati was murdered in September 2020 in Dadri. The UP police had arrested Jamshed, Shoeb, Wasim, and Khussan in connection with his murder, saying, “Primary investigation showed that the victim and suspects had personal enmity. Bhati had slapped Wasim a day before the incident took place. The suspects made a plan and attacked the victim to take revenge.”
Gurjar defended his comments on Akhlaq in a debate conducted by Times Now on 11 October, saying “Yes, I definitely said this about Akhlaq. Akhlaq killed a cow and cow is mother in Hindu religion. Do you support Akhlaq?”
Gurjar bragged about issuing threats of physical harm during the anti-CAA protests, saying, “There were riots on the CAA. My Loni is called mini-Pakistan. But not even a stone was thrown (in Loni). We warned them that we will cure them and will enter their home, thrash them and send them where they want to go. We warned them to stay within their limit.”
Gurjar appeared to admit that he entered Delhi with 2,500 people during the Delhi riots in February 2020 in which 53 people were killed, mostly Muslims, and boasted about killing “jihadis”.
“In Delhi, there were riots against the CAA when these jihadis started killing Hindus. We were accused of entering Delhi with 2,500 people. We went to make people understand but the police registered a case against us that we killed jihadis. We will kill jihadis, we will always kill Jihadis. But we won’t kill those who say Bharat mata ki jai.”
“Whatever the next steps are and resolutions are passed from here, 50,000 people from Loni can come wherever you ask them to. They came to Delhi earlier also whenever Delhi needed them and we were given orders,” he said.
Gurjar asked the Delhi police to carry out extra judicial killings and assured them that they won’t lose their jobs.
“If these incidents are repeated in the future, then I want to tell the Delhi police that don’t sit idle. Don’t make yourself cowards. You won’t lose your jobs in this government. Kill these terrorists and encounter them like Uttar Pradesh. If you would have done two or four encounters, then such incidents would not have been repeated in Delhi,” he said.
VHP Spokesperson Called The FIR ‘Laughable’
In its press release about the event, VHP’s joint general secretary Surendra Jain claimed the population of Hindus in Delhi’s Sunder Nagri has reduced from 90% to 30%, calling it “mini-Pakistan”. He claimed that Hindus had to migrate due to fear from “jihadis” and appealed to Hindus to defend their religion.
The day after the gathering, on 10 October, Delhi police lodged an FIR against the “VHP and other organisers of the event” under Section 188—disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant— of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.
The police registered a suo-moto FIR for not taking permission before organising the event.
Despite the publicly available videos where four speakers including India’s ruling party’s lawmakers can be seen issuing threats of physical harm and calls for economic boycott against a community, media reports suggest no sections related to hate speech against a community were added to the FIR.
VHP’s spokesperson Vinod Bansal called the FIR “laughable” and said that several policemen were present at the event venue and that they had the permission to organise the event.
Speaking to Article 14, the additional commissioner of police of Shahdara, Kushal Pal Singh said, “FIR has been filed in the case and legal proceedings have been done.”
When asked if new sections were added to the FIR, Singh said, “The matter is old now. I will have to see.”
A Gathering In Haridwar
The Haridwar Dharm Sansad held from 17-19 December 2021, where Hindu extremists gave a call for killing Muslims, arming Hindus and insurrection against the government, gained widespread national and international coverage and condemnation.
The Dharm Sansad was also addressed by Supreme Court advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who was arrested and released on bail, for allegedly co-organising a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on 8 August 2021, which he claims was against “colonial-era laws”, where slogans against Muslims were raised.
The Delhi police arrested two more people—the founder of Hindu Force, Deepak Singh Hindu, and the national president of Sudarshan Vahini, Vinod Sharma—in connection with the Jantar Mantar event. They received bail in September and attended the Dharm Sansad in Haridwar in December.
The FIR filed by the Uttarakhand police against the Dharm Sansad invoked Section 153A—promoting enmity between different groups—of the IPC. Section 295A —deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs—was later included in this FIR. However, only three (here, here and here) out of the ten accused were arrested and released (here, here and here) on bail.
Wasim Rizvi, the former Shia Waqf Board chairman and a convert to Hinduism, who goes by Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi, and who made derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad and Islam during the release of his book in November 2021, was the first to be arrested on 13 January 2022.
Rejecting his bail plea on 8 March, Justice Ravindra Maithani of the Uttarakhand High Court called his speech in Haridwar “hate speech” and said that “it intends to wound the religious feelings of persons belonging to a particular religion. It intends to wage war, promote enmity. It is a hate speech.”
The Supreme Court, while hearing Tyagi’s bail petition on May 12, observed that the Haridwar Dharm Sansad was “spoiling the whole atmosphere”.
The Supreme Court granted him a three month medical bail on 17 May before granting him bail on 12 September.
The second Haridwar Dharm Sansad speaker to be arrested was Yati Narsinghanand Giri, priest of the Dasna Devi temple in Uttar Pradesh and the head of a prominent Hindu sect called the juna akhada.
Narsinghanand, who has a history of giving hate speech and inciting violence against Muslims, was arrested on 15 January by the Haridwar police in two separate cases, one for hate speech against Muslims and the other for his derogatory remarks against women made in August 2021, saying “The women you see in politics have or had been mistresses of at least one male politician.”
He was released on bail on 16 February, a month after his arrest.
The first FIR after the Haridwar Dharm Sansad was registered based on a complaint by a Haridwar resident Gulbahar Khan on 24 December 2021, naming Tyagi. The names of Sadhvi Annapurna, Narsinghanand, Sindhu Sagar, and Dharmdas were later added to this FIR. The second FIR, registered on 2 January 2022 based on a complaint by Haridwar resident Nadeem Ali, named them along with Parmananda Maharaj, Anand Swaroop, Ashwini Upadhyay, Suresh Chahwan and Swami Prabodhanand Giri.
But no other Haridwar Dharm Sansad speaker was arrested.
The chargesheet had been filed in the case, Haridwar superintendent of police (city) Swatantra Kumar told Article 14 on 3 December.
Second Gathering In Haridwar
Shortly after the Dharm Sansad in December 2021 where the Hindu Raksha Sena president Swami Prabodhanand Giri had called on the police and army to conduct a “cleaning drive” (safai abhiyan) like Myanmar, he repeated his call at two more events. The first of these events was in Haridwar on 1 January 2022 and the second in Ghaziabad, the next day.
Addressing a crowd of mostly women in Haridwar, Giri said, “The way Myanmar had to pick up weapons to defend itself, Hindus must also pick up weapons and take action to defend themselves.”
“Hindus should keep weapons in their homes in order to “kill jihadis before they come to kill you,” he said.
Narsinghanad also spoke at the 1 January gathering in Haridwar where he called upon Hindu women to “produce more kids”, saying those who had one child were “snakes”.
In Ghaziabad, Giri said, “We will stand up against each jihadi of India and will work towards cleaning them.”
Prabodhanand was giving a call for a “cleansing drive” like that of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar thrice within a span of 15 days.
Media reports suggest no FIR was filed against these two events despite publicly available videos of speakers calling for violence against Muslims.
Ghaziabad’s Superintendent of Police Gyanendra Kumar Singh didn’t respond to Article 14‘s calls and text. Haridwar’s superintendent of police Swatantra Kumar didn’t respond to Article 14‘s calls and text.
A Gathering In Prayagraj
While Narsinghanand and Tyagi were in jail, other Hindu religious leaders gathered in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj for a ‘Sant Sammelan Against Islamic Jihad and for the Creation of Hindu Rashtra’ on 29 January 2022. There were calls for violence, to pick up arms, to attack mosques and madrasas at this event where a resolution to declare India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ was passed.
“One eye of the jihadi cat which needs to be attacked are masjids and madrasas, and the other eye are maulvis and mullahs, who are the ones responsible for creating jihadis,” said Giri.
This was the fourth instance of Giri giving a hate speech and calling for violence within a span of 40 days. The others were the Haridwar Dharm Sansad on 17-19 December 2021, the religious congregation in Haridwar on 1 January 2022, and the felicitation event for Prabodhanand in Ghaziabad on 2 January 2022.
The shankaracharya of the Sumeru Matha in Varanasi Swami Narendranand Saraswati gave a call to kill “anti-national people”, saying, “Pick up weapons and go and stop anti-national people. Stop them, scold them, and if they don’t listen, kill them.”
Another Haridwar Dharm Sansad speaker and head of a Hindutva outfit ‘Kali Sena’ Anand Swaroop said, “If non-violence doesn’t get us to our goal, then we should take up violence.”
Swaroop threatened violence if Narsinghanand and Tyagi were not released within a week and threatened action like that of the “Bhagat Singh Assembly Bomb case”.
A complaint was filed against the organisers and speakers of the Sant Sammelan at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow seeking immediate action. But no FIR was registered.
“Nothing was done by the police of UP on our complaint. I tried to pursue it but all my attempts proved futile,” said Rooprekha Verma, a former vice-chancellor of Lucknow University, one of the complainants.
Prayagraj’s Superintendent of Police (City) Santosh Kumar Meena told Article -14, “I don’t have knowledge about this.”
Third Gathering In Haridwar
While Narsinghanand and Tyagi were in jail, two other religious events were organised in Haridwar and Aligarh.
At Haridwar’s Sarvanand Ghat on 16 January 2022, Dharm sansad speaker and Kali Sena chief Anand Swaroop while addressing a “revenge meet” to protest against the arrests of Narsinghanand and Tyagi asked, “After the partition of India, what right do believers of Islam have to live in India? They have their own Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” and said that Dharm Sansads won’t stop until “Islam is finished”.
The other such protest meet was organised by Haridwar Dharm Sansad speaker and the mahamandaleshwar of Niranjani Akhada, Annapurna Bharti, also known as Pooja Shakun Pandey in Aligarh on 16 January 2022.
The BJP MLA from Aligarh district’s Koil constituency Anil Parashar went to this event and sought blessings from Bharti, who had given a call to “eliminate their population” at the Haridwar Dharm Sansad and repeated her call saying, “We will definitely kill those who speak against our religion and our Hindustan” on a Times Now debate.
A Gathering In Delhi
The Save India Foundation president Preet Singh who was out on bail in the August 2021 Jantar Mantar hate speech case, organised another hate event in Delhi’s Burari ground on 3 April 2022.
The event known as the ‘Hindu mahapanchayat’ was organised to demand uniform civil code, population control law, law against religious conversion and had the support of 108 Hindu organisations including the Hindu Army president Sushil Tiwari and the Hindu Raksha Dal president Pinky Chaudhary—both out on bail in the Jantar Mantar hate speech case.
The event was addressed by Narsinghanand, who was granted bail in the Haridwar Dharm Sansad hate speech case with the instructions specifying his condition: “The accused is ordered to submit an undertaking before the learned magistrate that after this (bail) order he won’t give speeches that would spread hatred in the society and would disturb communal harmony, neither will he be part of any such events whose aim would be to promote enmity between different groups and to disturb the communal harmony.”
Violating both these bail conditions, Narsinghanand gave a call for Hindus to pick up weapons, saying, “In 20 years, 40% Hindus will be killed. If you want to change this, be a man. A man keeps weapons.”
The event was also addressed by editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News Suresh Chavhanke who said that he is against equal rights and that Indian Muslims should get the same rights as Hindus in Pakistan. (The preamble of the Constitution of Pakistan says, “Pakistan would be a democratic state based on Islamic principles of social justice”. It also says, “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their cultures.”)
An FIR naming Narsinghanand, Preet Singh and Suresh Chavhanke was filed by Delhi police invoking section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC.
The FIR stated that the permission for the event was denied by the Delhi police but Preet Singh organised it without permission and that hate speeches were delivered against a specific religion.
However, no arrests were made by the Delhi police.
A mob allegedly beat up seven journalists who went to cover this event.
The Delhi police said they have registered two cases against unknown persons in relation to the manhandling and assault on journalists.
In a second FIR, Delhi Police also booked independent journalist Meer Faisal, who was one of the journalists allegedly attacked, and news portal Article 14 for their tweets about the attack on journalists under Section 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the IPC.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), North-West Delhi, Usha Rangnani didn’t respond to Article 14’s inquiry on the update in the case. This story will be updated when they respond.
A Gathering In Roorkee
Another ‘Hindu mahapanchayat’ to decide “how to deal with terrorists, Rohingyas and Muslims who are a danger to Hindus”, scheduled for 27 April, was stopped before taking place after the Supreme Court said Uttarakhand’s chief secretary, home secretary and the inspector general of police would be held responsible if any “untoward incident” happens at this event.
Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) was imposed in Roorkee. The main organiser, Kali Sena chief Anand Swaroop, who had threatened a day before of consequences if section 144 is imposed, was put under preventive detention.
Another organiser of this mahapanchayat and state convenor of Kali Sena Dinesh Anand Bharti also known as Sagar Sindhu Maharaj was arrested on 27 April 2022 in connection with his speech at the Haridwar Dharm Sansad in December 2021 where he had given a call for Hindus to pick up weapons. This was the third arrest in the Haridwar Dharm Sansad case. Bharti was granted bail by the Uttarakhand High Court on 19 May 2022.
On 18 April 2022, Bharti, while addressing his supporters, called Muslims “modern day demons” and gave an ultimatum of two days to the Uttarakhand Police to arrest the imam of the mosque from which they claim an announcement was made to attack the Hanuman Jayanti procession on 16 April in Roorkee’s Dada Jalalpur village.
“People were taking out Shobha Yatra on Hanuman Jayanti when the modern day demons who are known as Muslims tried to stop it,” he said.
On 20 April 2022, Bharti organised a protest meeting with his supporters demanding the arrest of the imam where he raised the slogan, “We will wake up Hindus. We will make Hindu Rashtra”. At this protest meeting organised at the Bhagwanpur toll plaza, Kali Sena’s Haridwar’s convenor Rajiv Joshi threatened violence to the administration and said, “Kali Sena has created its soldiers all across the country. If our demands are not met, then our soldiers will enter the Bhagwanpur border and you (administration) won’t be able to stop us. If the administration does not bulldoze the houses of criminal Muslims, then after a week our protest will turn so violent that you won’t be able to control it.”
A Gathering In Una
A three-day Dharm Sansad was organised in Himachal Pradesh’s Una from 17-19 April 2022, where an oath was administered to do weapons training and kill. Narsinghanand also addressed this hate event, violating his bail conditions for the second time within two weeks.
Narsinghanad stoked the fear of “rising Muslim population” and called upon Hindus to give birth to more kids.
Another Haridwar Dharm Sansad speaker Annapurna Bharti, while addressing the Una Dharm Sansad, said that she is proud of being called “Lady Godse”, and said, “if needed I can even shoot.” She went on to administer an oath to the people to train themselves and their families to “use weapons” to “kill vidharmis” (those who they think are against their religion)as per Hindu religious texts like the Gita and shashtras.
“We won’t hesitate to even take someone’s life if he attacks our soul,” attendees said, repeating the oath with her.
Another speaker who introduced himself as Popin Arya from Delhi asked Hindus to “make gangs” and carry out “targeted killings”.
On day two of the Una Dharm Sansad on 18 April, Una police served a notice that said, “The organisers must ensure that no remark is made against any caste or community or they will be liable to strong legal action”.
After 21 days on 10 May, the Uttarakhand police registered an FIR under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the IPC against unnamed persons in relation to this Dharm Sansad. However, no arrests were made despite clear calls for picking up weapons and indulging in violence against Muslims.
Una’s superintendent of police (SP) Arjit Sen didn’t respond to Article 14’s calls and text on the update in the case. This story will be updated if and when he responds.
A Gathering In Aligarh
Narsinghanand violated his bail conditions for the third time within a month when he addressed the ‘Sanatan Sant Sammelan’ in Aligarh on 2 May 2022.
In his speech, Narsinghanand called on Hindu women to give birth to more and more kids in order to protect their religion.
Another speaker Kalicharan Maharaj, who was arrested for using abusive language for Mahatma Gandhi in Raipur Dharm Sansad on 25-26 December 2021, asked the crowd “who will Indian Muslims support if Modi ji declares war on Pakistan”. The crowd replied “Pakistan”. He then asked, “What will happen if 100 people climb on your sister, mother, daughter or lover”.
Mahamandleshwar of Niranjani Akhada Annapurna Bharti also addressed this event and exhorted Hindu women to give birth to more children. The event was also attended by the Aligarh BJP MLA Mukta Raja and former MLA Sanjeev Raja.
Aligarh district administration served notice to the organisers of this event for “violating the terms of permission” and for giving “inflammatory speeches against a particular community”.
Media reports suggest no FIR was registered in connection with the hate speeches made at this event.
Aligarh’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Kuldeep Singh Gunawat didn’t respond to Article 14’s calls and text.
An Oath In Ambala
On 1 May 2022, editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, Suresh Chavhanke, administered an oath in Ambala to make India a “Hindu Rashtra”.
Among those in the event organised by the ‘Samajik Chetna Sangathan’ on the Uniform Civil Code, taking the oath to “make or take sacrifice to declare India a Hindu Rashtra”, was Ambala’s BJP MLA Aseem Goel.
Chavhanke was already facing a case for administering a similar Hindu Rashtra oath at an event in Delhi on 19 December 2021 at the same time when Haridwar Dharm Sansad was taking place.
On 16 May 2022, members of different communities took out a protest march in Ambala demanding action against Goel. Media reports suggest no FIR was registered in relation to this event. Ambala’s superintendent of police (SP) Jashandeep Randhawa didn’t respond to Article 14’s calls and text.
Another hate event against which media reports suggest police did not take action was organised in Rohtak on 1 May 2022 by a prominent priest of the Niranjani Akhada Raghvendra Bharti. The event known as ‘Sanatan Dharm Sabha’ was organised with an aim to declare India a “Hindu Nation” and demand “population control law”.
Rohtak’s superintendent of police Udai Singh Meena didn’t respond to Article 14’s calls and text.
Hate Events Stopped By The UP Police
Two hate events planned in Uttar Pradesh in the first week of May were stopped (here and here) by the police.
The first of them, publicised as ‘Hindu Samagam’ was to be held on 3 May 2022 in Ghaziabad. The event, organised by Hindu Raksha Sena had the photos of its president Swami Prabodhanand Giri and Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on its poster. DCP Central Noida said on Twitter that no permission was taken to organise the event or to use the CM’s photo on the event’s poster.
The police said an FIR was registered against Praveen Chaudhary, vice president of Hindu Raksha Sena, and Rajkumar Chaudhary, the general secretary.
A day before the event on 2 May, Prabodhanand said in a Facebook post that both of them were detained by the Uttar Pradesh police till the next day to stop the event from taking place.
The other hate event, to be held on 8 May 2022 in Ghaziabad, was organised by Narsinghanand and joined by other Hindutva leaders. The event where they were planning to distribute the Gita as well as bows and arrows to the people was stopped by the UP police.
Repeat Offender Anand Swaroop
On 3 May 2022, an event was organised by the Rashtriya Parshuram Parishad at the Constitution Club, New Delhi, on the occasion of Parshuram Jayanti, a Hindu festival.
Repeat offender Anand Swaroop featured as a speaker on the event’s poster. The New Delhi Municipal Corporation’s (NDMC) vice chairman and BJP leader Satish Upadhyay featured as the chief guest of the event on the poster. UP’s minister of state for labour and founder of the Rashtriya Parshuram Parishad Sunil Bharala featured as the event’s head
At the event, while talking to the media, Swaroop gave a call to free India of “Islam” and “Christianity” and said, “Our country is free. Now we have to free it from Islam and Christianity. For this we have formed an army of youth called ‘Kali Sena’ which will fight a war.”
“When the people working for religion will come forward to fight against the Supreme Court then it will be good,” said Swaroop. He said that India would be declared a “Hindu Rashtra” in the next four years and saffron flags would be hoisted on every mosque.
Media reports suggest no FIR was lodged. The deputy commissioner of police of central Delhi Shweta Chauhan didn’t respond to Article 14’s calls and text.
Swaroop organised a ‘Hindu Panchayat’ on 26 June 2022 in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia with an aim to declare India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, which the police ignored. Ballia’s superintendent of police Raj Karan Nayyar didn’t respond to Article 14’s calls and text.
Gatherings In Haryana
At a mahapanchayat, organised on 8 May 2022 in Haryana’s Mewat by several Hindu organisations and cow vigilante groups for the “protection of cow”, one speaker, who could not be identified, gave an open call for beheading, saying, “Whoever touches the cow will be beheaded”.
Another speaker and former BJP leader Kulbhushan Bharadwaj threatened violence, saying, “I heard that the authorities were saying that our men have weapons. I want to tell the authorities that if they won’t take any measures regarding cow slaughter, we won’t let these weapons rot.”
The event was also attended by Sohna’s BJP MLA Sanjay Singh.
Media reports suggest no FIR was registered against this event.
Nuh superintendent or police Varun Singla didn’t respond to Article 14’s calls and text. In Haryana’s Manesar, two hate events were organised within a span of three months.
In the first event organised on 3 July by various Hindu organisations under the banner ‘Samast Hindu Samaj’, calls were given for the economic boycott of Muslim owned shops and for Hindus to keep weapons.
Article 14 reported that Assamese Muslims fled their slums fearing violence after the speakers at this event demanded ID verification of Muslims.
At the other event ‘Trishul Deeksha program’, organised by the VHP on 16 October, VHP’s joint general secretary Surendra Jain said, “I want to tell these maulvis, pack your bags, else people of Manesar will not leave you. This is a Hindu rashtra and will remain so.”
Media reports suggest no FIR was registered against both these events.
Manesar Police station’s inspector Vijay Kumar told Article 14 that he is not aware of both these events.
Repeat Offender Suresh Chavhanke
Chavhanke, who is named in an FIR in Delhi for his hate speech after the Supreme Court pulled up the Delhi police for not finding hatred in his speech from the 19 December 2021 event in Delhi, delivered another one in the national capital in Badarpur on 4 September 2022.
Addressing the event ‘Hanuman Chalisa and Jansabha’, Chavhanke raised the conspiracy theory of “love jihad”, saying, “If they take away your sister by force, by misleading her, you fulfil your responsibility by chopping off their hands, we will support you.” He also spoke of “UPSC jihad”, a baseless conspiracy theory that Muslims are infiltrating India’s civil services.
In September 2020, the Supreme Court had observed that Chavhanke’s program on ‘UPSC jihad” was aimed to “vilify Muslim community” and stopped its broadcast.
Media reports suggest no FIR was registered. Badarpur police station didn’t respond to Article 14’s call.
Chavhanke addressed two more hate events in Maharashtra for a “Hindu rashtra” where he again administered his “Hindu Rashtra oath”; one in Latur on 27 November 2022 and one in Pune on 28 November. Latur’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Jitendra Jagdale asked to mail our question on an authorised letter.
UP Police Stops Narsinghanand
Narsinghanand was planning to organise a three-day Dharm Sansad at his Dasna temple in Ghaziabad from 17 December 2022, marking one year of the Haridwar Dharm Sansad in 2021.
However, the UP police sent him a notice on 3 November 2022, instructing him not to organise the Dharm Sansad and its preparatory meeting on 6 November as he does not have permission for both these events.
On 16 December, the UP police instructed Narsinghanand not to conduct his Dharm Sansad following which he canceled it. Narsinghanand, on 17 December, left his temple to go to Supreme Court in protest, but was detained and put under house arrest by the UP police.
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(Kaushik Raj is a freelance journalist and poet based in Delhi.)