CJP moves NCM against Adesh Gupta for calling Bangladeshi and Rohingya immigrants ‘Terrorists’ The Delhi BJP Chief had claimed that their presence poses a threat to Delhi's security

16, May 2022 | CJP Team

In yet another attempt to counter hate speech, CJP has approached the National Commission of Minorities (NCM) regarding the repeated remarks made by BJP Chief Adesh Gupta against the Muslim minority and addressing ‘Bangladeshi’ and ‘Rohingya’ Muslims as ‘Terrorists’. It is important to note here that it was Adesh Gupta’s repeated Hate speech that incited action by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in Jahangirpuri in April.

He even wrote a letter to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Mayor Mukkesh Suryaan and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) Mayor Shyam Sunder Agarwal, Adesh Gupta asking them to “identify” the encroachment by “anti-social elements” and “bulldoze them”, India Today had reported on April 22, 2022. The demolition drive had continued for hours despite Supreme Courts orders imposing status quo on such demolitions.

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In the complaint, CJP expresses deep concern as to how those in positions of power and authority are continuously misusing their status to create communal tension in the society with impunity. CJP highlights the fact that hate speech, targeted at Bangladeshis and Rohingyas, violates national as well international jurisprudence on the refugees’ right to live with dignity.

In a video dated May 9, 2022, uploaded by Times Now, Delhi BJP Chief Adesh Gupta brazenly calls Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims ‘terrorists’ while addressing the media regarding the protest by opposition party leaders at Shaheen Bagh demolition drive.

“You must have seen how in Delhi, more than 5 lakh Bangladeshis and Rohingyas have been spreading terror,” the BJP can be seen and hear saying in the video. He strongly objects Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister’s decision to provide shelter to Bangladeshis and Rohingyas in their area, issue them ration cards along with Aadhaar card, grant pension funds to their elders and admit their children in schools.

While attacking the Congress and AAP leaders for interrupting the demolition drive, he says, “Those people who are trying to protect these encroachers, these Bangladeshi and Rohingyas, these terror spreading people, by lying down in front of these bulldozers, beware, the citizens of this country will bring you down and walk over you. There is nothing more unfortunate than Congress, AAP party supporting these people who come to this country to spread terror. I would also like to add that Rohingya Muslims spread terror and when the bombs that they have planted blasts, it does not differentiate between any religion or caste. When a bomb blasts, people of all religion or caste are affected alike.”

He further says, “Do not associate this with any religion or caste. At the end of the day, terrorists are terrorists. Rohingyas and Bangladeshis who do not belong to our country are not entitled to any rights in our country even if they block our roads or our way. They have no right. I want to warn these opposition party leaders once again that the citizens of the country are watching you. They can see how you are protecting them. The people will take revenge because the leaders have come to the rescue of terrorists, they have come to the rescue of Bangladeshis and Rohingyas.”

He concludes by saying, “You are claiming the demolitions of illegal encroachment to be communal but when there are riots you raise no objections. Only when action is taken against such riots and rioters, you give it a communal angle. Those who are trying to appease people in this manner, who are trying to interfere in the actions taken against the encroachers and terrorists such as Bangladeshis and Rohingyas will have to pay the price.”

According to CJP, these remarks go against the canons of both, national jurisprudence on refugees and international law and treaties, to which also India is a signatory. It brings to the Commission’s attention that the steps taken to provide migrants with ration cards, Aadhaar cards, pension funds and education to children are well within the bounds of established jurisprudence and practice.

The said video maybe viewed here:

Moreover, CJP demonstrates how in further violation of criminal law and the police act, the hate offender incites extra-judicial action from non-state actors such as his party workers as he asks them to report illegal encroachments by Rohingyas and Bangladeshi migrants so that their houses can be razed down with the help of bulldozers. According to the Hindustan Times, report dated May 8, 2022, Gupta had said, “It is being seen that AAP MLAs and leaders are helping Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims illegally open scrap shops, meat shops and set up vending carts to sell fruits and vegetables. They are also using the EWS quota to help their children get admission in government schools. If you get to know about any such encroachment, then immediately inform the police and local administration… It is important to use bulldozers wherever such encroachments have taken place.”

CJP also highlights how Adesh Gupta openly announces in a video, “Now MCD’s (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) bulldozer will run over Rohingyas and Bangladeshis.”

The video maybe viewed here:

Additionally, in a shocking statement reported by India Today on April 28, 2022, Gupta says, “Illegal Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants are a big threat to Delhi. The illegal construction by them shall be removed for the safety of Delhi.”

Rights of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis

Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims have migrated from troubled countries such as Myanmar and Bangladesh to seek refuge in India. They live in well distinguished and established camps, often in poor conditions, well in the know of central government and other authorities, in accordance to some basic conditions that India, as a country wedded to international law, is committed to grant. All such persons are asking is that they be treated with dignity, be allowed to live in peace and be given an opportunity to contribute to the economy. Even if the authorities deem that the properties belonging to them are “illegal”, we believe that they should examine and act upon the issue from the point of view of the right to shelter being a fundamental right under Article 21 and due process of law a fundamental prerequisite for any executive action. Whipping up mass hysteria and passing such derogatory remarks against the community affects their right to live with dignity and causes them mental trauma.

The fact that most of these places are Muslim dominated areas and the targeted demolition of the houses belonging to the ‘rioters’ makes it quite evident that the demolition drive undertaken in Delhi is nothing but yet another way to target and harass the Muslim minority in India under the garb of tackling “external aggression and terrorists”. As we are all aware there are many such illegal encroachments in other parts of Delhi, in colonies and homes of the rich and powerful, but the selective act of demolitions undertaken by the Corporation raises questions regarding the intentions and motives of the people in power.

Violations of law

The level of incriminating speech that is illegal and unconstitutional violates IPC section 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot—if rioting be committed; if not committed), section 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), section 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), section 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), section 503  (Criminal intimidation), section 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), section 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief).

CJP has therefore craved leave to supplement and buttress the complaint with jurisprudence, Indian and international on the rights of refugees and displaced persons as we know that customary international law, precludes the host country to force or compel the authorities to force such persons back to the country where they face a threat to their lives.

The complaint urges the Commission’s immediate attention as such statements, made by political leaders and elected officials –sworn to uphold not just the Indian Constitution but cannons of Indian jurisprudence and customary international law –at public platforms have far reaching impact and rather perilous repercussions.

*Feature Image courtesy Indian Express.

 

 

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