76 lawyers write to Supreme Court urging action on hate speeches, calls for ethnic cleansingtext_fields
76 eminent lawyers have penned a letter to Justice N.V Ramana of the Supreme Court in a bid to forestall potential consequences of hate speeches against the Muslim community at two events helf in Haridwar and Delhi last week, where prominent Hindu religious leaders had called for "ethnic cleansing" of India. The letter requests the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognizance of the issue.
"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," the letter reads. "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."
The letter's authors include Anjana Prakash, advocate and former Judge, High Court of Patna, advocate Salman Khurshid, advocate Prashanth Bhushan and numerous others.
"...Said speeches thus, pose a grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens," the letter reads.
The lawyers also pointed out the inflammatory statements made by Hindu Raksha Sena's Prabodhanand Giri - photographed often with BJP leaders including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Dhami - which called for "ethnic cleansing" of India in the model of Myanmar.
Another speech made by "Sadhvi Annapurna" at the conclave said Hindu 'soldiers' were needed to kill and defeat Muslims. The conclave was organised by Yati Narasimhanand, a religious leader who has been accused in the past of inciting violence with his incendiary speeches. BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, also out on bail for charges made against her in a previous hate speech case, attended the "Dharma Sansad" which is where the remarks were delivered.
"We are writing to your Lordship hoping for prompt action in your capacity as the head of the judicial wing of the State and knowing your Lordship's commitment to both the independence of Judiciary as also the constitutional values that are fundamental to the functioning of a multicultural nation such as ours," the letter concludes.