Two right wing groups have filed counter-appeals in the Supreme Court opposing the plea against the hate speeches at religious gatherings in Haridwar and Delhi that evoked public outrage across country. Both organisations have appealed to the court to make them party to the case.
In the appeal, Hindu Sena president Vishnu Gupta has demanded that Muslim leaders be arrested for their hate speeches instead.
The statements by religious leaders at Dharam Sansad were responses to attacks on Hindu culture by non-Hindus, and cannot be described as “Hate speech”, the appeal contended.
“Efforts are being made to scandalise the spiritual leaders of Hindus… The petitioner belongs to the Muslim community and is not supposed to raise objections against affairs or activities related to Hindu Dharm Sansad (sic),” read the plea, citing the appeal filed by journalist Qurban Ali against the speeches at the religious forums that have evoked outrage in the country.
The Hindu Sena president has also demanded that AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and other Muslim leaders like Waris Pathan be arrested, accusing them of giving hate speeches.
Another organisation, the Hindu Front for Justice, contended that since the Supreme Court has agreed to examine hate speeches against Muslims, it should also examine hate speeches against Hindus. In their appeal, they have cited 25 instances of alleged hate speeches against Hindus.
Journalist Qurban Ali and Anjana Prakash, a former judge of the Patna High Court, had filed the appeal against the hate speeches in Haridwar and Delhi, which were condemned by activists and civil society.
Five former chiefs of staff of the armed forces and over a hundred other people including bureaucrats and prominent citizens, had written to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the “open call of genocide of Indian Muslims,” calling upon them to protect the integrity and security of our country.
On January 12, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Centre, Uttarakhand government and the Delhi police, seeking an account of the action taken on the issue.
Soon after, the Uttarakhand Police arrested a speaker, Yati Narsinghanand, and Jitendra Narayan Tyagi (called Wazim Rizvi before his conversion) in connection with the case. Both of them are in judicial custody.