After videos went viral showing provocative slogans by Hindutva supporters targeting Muslims at a rally in Jantar Mantar on Sunday, a case has been filed against “unknown persons” on charges of promoting enmity between different groups, media reports citing police sources said.
The video from the rally triggered massive outrage on social media with people asking the police why such a rally was allowed in the heart of Delhi.
According to Indian Express, the police claimed they had denied permission to the rally but were taken off guard to see hundreds of people pouring in to join Ashwini Upadhyay, senior Supreme Court lawyer and a BJP leader who in the past has been party’s spokesperson.
“We refused permission after informing them about DDMA guidelines (which do not allow for gatherings in view of the Covid protocol), and later we got to know that Ashwini Upadhyay was looking for an indoor venue. Police arrangements were in place and we thought around 50 people would come, but suddenly many people in small groups started gathering. They were protesting peacefully, but started raising slogans when they were dispersing,” Indian Express quoted a senior police official as saying.
DCP (New Delhi district) Deepak Yadav had told the newspaper that the police was examining and verifying the viral videos from the rally.
Ironically, the rally which was marked by provocative slogans and hate speeches, was called by so-called Bharat Jodo Andolon (Unite India Movement).
A video that is viral on the internet shows a group of men chanting: “Jab Mulle Kate Jaenge Ram Ram Chillaayenge (When Mulle, a derogatory reference to Muslims, would be chopped off they would cry Ram Ram).”
Flyers calling for “annihilation 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.
AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Assadudin Owaisi Mondya told the parliament that “genocidal slogans” targetting Muslims were raised “20 minutes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence”.
While mention about the rally in Dwarka, Owaisi said who identified the participants of rally as hooligans, said, they know they have support of Modi government . On July 24, the government empowered the Delhi Police to detain any person under National Security Act (NSA) and yet the Delhi Police is quietly watching the spectacle.”
Meanwhile on Monday, women activists Shabnam Hashmi who runs Anhad group, and Anie Raja of NFIW wrote a letter to the District Police Commissioner at Parliament Street Police station seeking charges under Section 295-A (insulting religion or beliefs of religious class) against the accused including leaders who organised the rally.
“The rule of law and order was under attack at the heart of India’s Capital and Delhi Police is choosing to look away,” said the letter, warning that if immediate action was not taken it could lead to more hate speeches and provoke violence.