30, Mar 2023 | CJP Team
In 2022, Ram Navami celebrations were blotched with spurious incidents of communal violence with the majority community provoking the minority community ultimately resulting in clashes and injuries to people and destruction of homes and property. If one recalls, such incidents were reported from Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal as well as Delhi and Mumbai.
In Mumbai’s Mankhurd area, some miscreants had started shouting ‘Jai Shree ram’ slogans while the Muslims in the area were performing namaaz. They were requested to stop for a while but eventually a crowd gathered and the situation escalated and a mob of 40 carrying swords reached the place and started destroying the vehicles including rickshaws. A case of rioting was registered against the goons.
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Citizens for Justice and Peace, in the preceding days intimated the Hyderabad and Mumbai Police with regards to Ram Navami processions organized in the respective cities by right wing organisations. On March 28 and March 29, letters were sent to Santacruz Police (Mumbai) and Mangalhat police(Hyderabad). IN Mumbai, it was the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal local units organising a rally from Shanti Nagar area passing through Daulat nagar and culminating at Gajdhar bandh.
Further, in Hyderabad’s Dhoolpet area which comes under Mangalhat police station, an event called ‘Vishal Shri Ram Navami Shobha Yatra’ was being organised by suspended BJP MLA and President of Shri Ram Yuva Sena T Raja Singh. Singh is known for his malicious and vicious hate speeches calling for violence against Muslims, denigrating them and their religion and generally making vile comments about religious minorities, be it Christians or Muslims.
In both our letters we highlighted the dangers to law and order situations in case both these events are allowed and urged for preventive action. However, telephonic conversations with stations in-charge of both police stations confirmed that both the events are taking place but under heavy police bandobast (deployment). Both officers said that they have made preparations to ensure that no such acts that would disturb public peace and order would occur.
In our complaint to Mumbai Police, addressed to Santacruz police station in-charge, as well as Commissioner of Police (Vivek Phansalkar) and DCP-Zone-IX (Anil Paraskar) we highlighted how last year’s Ram Navami was marred by incidents of clashes, stone-pelting, trishul diksha, attacks on students and many other instances of violent communal confrontation.
In our complaint to Mangalhat Police, we mentioned the notorious history of Raja Singh who has repeatedly and brazenly delivered hate speeches against the minorities and tried to invoke violence against them. The police were also reminded that Raja Singh had continuously acted in contempt of Telangana High Court’s order that he should not participate in rallies after he was granted bail in a case. The letter was also addressed to ACP, Goshamahal Division and DCP, West Zone, Hyderabad.
In both complaints we cited Supreme Court’s February 3 order directing the police to invoke section 151 of CrPC stating that it was the police officer’s duty to invoke the same in case the occasion arises. We also cited the October 21, 2022 order where the court had said,
“As and when any speech or any action takes place which attracts offences such as Sections 153A, 153B and 295A and 505 of the IPC etc., suo moto action will be taken to register cases even if no complaint is forthcoming and proceed against the offenders in accordance with law.”
Both orders are from a batch of petitions being heard by a bench of Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagarathna against various instances of hate crimes across the country.
The Complaint to Hyderabad Police may be read here:
The complaint to Mumbai Police may be read here: