12, Jan 2022 | CJP Team
The rising concern over a repeat of the deplorable and pernicious ‘Dharam Sansad’ of Haridwar, Uttarakhand has prompted CJP to write to the Director General of Police, Uttarakhand urging him to direct that all the accused in the Dharam Sansad case be arrested.
The case saw very slow progress with only two sections of the Indian Penal Code invoked in the FIR, and even accused were included in the FIRs one by one at a rather slow pace. This has brought into question the manner in which Haridwar police is handling the case. CJP has already approached the National Commission of Minorities in this regard seeking action and monitoring of investigation by the Uttarakhand Police in this regard.
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Despite registering two FIRs in the matter and the videos showing these “religious leaders” making hateful speeches, giving calls for genocide against the minority Muslim community which can be considered damning evidence enough to cause an arrest in a cognizable offence, the police have not taken any such action. Instead, an official of the Uttarakhand Police was seen in the company of these hate offenders, visiting them to accept a frivolous FIR filed by them against Islam where Yati Narsinghanand was seen boasting that the officer is “on our side”.
The Dharam Sansad was an event held in Haridwar between December 17 and December 19, 2021 where several so-called religious leaders, espousing a hard, right-wing, exclusionist ideology, and activists of the same ilk, along with hardline fundamentalist speakers, delivered incendiary speeches. In these speeches, the videos of which have gone “viral” and reached hundreds of thousands, they have exhorted mobs to targeted violence and even directly called for a genocide of the minority community. Following these open calls for targeted violence, some incidents of violence have taken place, clearly drawing strength from this unchecked hate-driven speech, while some of the perpetrators, unchecked, have also continued on their hate-inciting spree.
The persons who took part in this ‘Dharma Sansad’ and delivered hate speech and calls for genocide include (but not limited to) Swami Prabodhanand Giri, president of Uttarakhand Hindu Raksha Sena; Yati Narsinghanand, Head Priest Dasna Devi temple; Sadhvi Annapurna aka Pooja Shakun Pandey, general secretary Hindu Mahasabha; Swami Anandswaroop; Swami Sagar Sindhu Maharaj from Roorkee; and Dharam Das Maharaj from Patna. All of these speakers and hate offenders have been former offenders spreading the similar kind of venom against the minority community and have had cases registered against them at different times and places, which has also been highlighted in the petition to the DGP.
The petition also highlights the several incidents that occurred as an aftermath of the Dharam Sansad including comments of the offenders accusing police of acting under pressure and reaction of the international Indian diaspora.
The petition also recognises that an SIT has been formed, “We are aware that a Special Investigation team (SIT) has been formed to inquire into this case. However, we fail to understand why the accused, whose videos have gone viral on social clearly giving calls for genocide, have not been arrested yet?”
Even the Supreme Court has now become apprised of the matter and issued notice to the Uttarakhand Police and Central government in the matter. It is high time that the Uttarakhand state police takes swift action in this case and puts these hate offenders behind bars.
The entire petition may be read here: