19, Mar 2021 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has approached the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and National Commission for Minorities with a complaint against the assault on a minor boy Asif, for entering a temple to drink water by Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati’s disciple and the subsequent justification of the hate crime.
CJP’s complaint dated March 18, 2021, has described the horrific incident of one Shringi Nandan Yadav who voluntarily kicked and hurt the minor Muslim boy for entering the Dasna Devi temple in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh and his aide who recorded the video. Soon after the video went viral on social media, Ghaziabad Police took cognisance of it and arrested Yadav and also named the person shooting the video as a co-accused.
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CJP’s complaint highlights the outrageous and condemnable justification of the said act by people on social media especially Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, who looks over the management of Dasna temple. Our complaint refers to a Times of India report that has quoted Yati accepting that he has trained his followers to give ‘befitting replies’ to any temple trespassers.
“I had trained my followers well to give a befitting reply to trespassers from a specific minority community, and all they did on Friday was they were following my instructions,” he told Times of India, and this statement implies that he is not only the sympathiser of the incident, and the accused, but also the main perpetrator of this crime.
CJP, through the complaint, also apprised the Commissions about its recent complaint dated March 10 against Yati’s Islamophobic and provocative speeches that openly instigate Hindus to ‘fight’ and ‘sacrifice’ for India before it becomes an ‘Islamic Nation’.
The complaint targets this widespread anti minority sentiment and states, “Targeting the Muslim community with an overbearing majoritarian attitude leads to a hostile and discriminatory environment that is against the secular ideals of India. Hate on social media, and such videos that can be accessed from any part of the country at any time helps mobilise force(s) that can result in a mass, targeted violent attacks, eventually and sometimes even culminating in genocide.”
It also refers to the Supreme Court ruling in Firoz Iqbal Khan vs Union of India (2020), where the apex court said, “The edifice of a democratic society committed to the rule of law under a regime of constitutional rights, values and duties, is founded on the co-existence of communities. India is a melting pot of civilisations, cultures, religions and languages. Any attempt to vilify a religious community must be viewed with grave disfavour by this Court as the custodian of constitutional values.”
Further, the complaint refers to NCPCR’s Handbook for Ending Violence Against Children that states that exposure to violence in childhood can be deeply destructive, and causes experience of trauma and fear, which could, in the long term, lead to affected mental well-being as well as poor quality of life. The fact that a minor boy has been made a target of a sinister communal plot, is toxic and CJP has brought this to the attention of the Commission.
The complaint consists of a litany of violations of the Indian Penal Code provisions for attacking a child who is not just a victim of violence, but of targeted violence in a hate induced crime. Our complaint also exposes the attitude of the temple priest, Yati, who has exalted and encouraged such acts of violence.
In addition to this, the complaint also refers to the constitutional violation of Articles 14, 15, 21, 39 (f) that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, caste, class, sex, religion and mandates the State to make policies towards securing opportunities and facilities for children to develop in a healthy manner, without exploitation.
Lastly, CJP has requested the Commissions to inquire into the matter under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, the National Commissions for Minorities Act, 1992 and direct the appropriate authority to provide monetary compensation to Asif and his family in the interim.
The complaints may be read here: