- Filed four days after the event, the FIR names just one person
- No arrest has been made in the matter
- Clips from the event – held from Dec 17-20 – circulated on social media
A case has been registered in connection to the hate speeches at a religious conclave in Haridwar after outrage and condemnation on social media over the open calls for genocide and use of weapons against Muslims. Filed four days after the event, the First Information Report names just one person — a Muslim who recently converted into Hinduism. No arrest has been made in the matter.
Clips from the event — held from December 17 to 20 — were circulated on social media and drew sharp criticism from former military chiefs, activists and even international tennis legend Martina Navratilova.
The police had initially claimed that no FIR was filed as there was no complaint. “The police are monitoring the situation,” said Haridwar Superintendent of Police Swatantra Kumar Singh had said when asked about the videos doing the rounds.
The First Information Report — filed after a complaint by Trinamool Congress leader and RTI activist Saket Gokhale — names one Jitender Narayan, alias Waseem Rizvi, who was earlier the chairman of Shia Waqf board of Uttar Pradesh. The FIR says he and others have given “derogatory and inflammatory statement against Islam” at the conclave.
“Taking cognizance of the video that is going viral on social media for spreading hatred by giving provocative speeches against a particular religion, a case has been registered against Wasim Rizvi alias Jitendra Narayan Tyagi and others under Section 153A IPC in Kotwali Haridwar and legal proceedings are in progress,” read a tweet by the Uttarakhand police.
Those who organised the event and gave the hate speeches maintain that they have done no wrong.
“I am not ashamed of what I have said. I am not afraid of police. I stand by my statement,” Hindu Raksha Sena’s Prabodhanand Giri — photographed often with BJP leaders including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Dhami — told NDTV.
In one of the videos circulated on social media, he is heard advocating ethnic cleansing in the manner of Myanmar. “Like Myanmar, our police, our politicians, our Army and every Hindu must pick up weapons and conduct a Safayi Abhiyan (ethnic cleansing). There is no other option left,” he is heard saying.
Another video from the controversial meet shows Pooja Shakun Pandey, aka “Sadhvi Annapurna”, urging violence against Muslims. “If you want to finish them off, then kill them… We need 100 soldiers who can kill 20 lakh of them to win this,” she says.
“The Constitution of India is wrong. Indians should pray to Nathuram Godse (Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin). I am not afraid of the police,” she told NDTV.