Videos of Haridwar gathering in Uttarakhand state that called for violence against Muslims go viral.
A call for Muslim genocide in a Hindu religious assembly held in northern India has triggered outrage in the country with a former military chief, rights activists, and politicians demanding action.
The president of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, India’s largest socio-religious Muslim organization, accused the government of turning a blind eye to the open call against the Muslim community, as well hate speeches made regularly by fringe elements in an organized manner.
In a letter to the country’s home minister, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Committee for Minorities, and chief minister of Uttarakhand, where the assembly was held in the city of Haridwar, Maulana Mahmood Madni demanded strict action against the offenders.
“They have posed threat to the peace and communal harmony of the country. I demand strong actions must be taken against organizers and speakers,” said Maulana Madni.
Civil society shocked
After videos of the religious assembly went viral on social media, leading advocate Prashant Bhushan demanded action against the organizers and participants.
“Shocking! All these people making these speeches at this convention need to be arrested for serious offenses under IPC (Indian Penal Code) & UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). Supreme Court must take suo moto notice of this,” Bhushan said on Twitter.
Former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ved Malik also agreed that action should be taken.
“Agreed. Such speeches disturb public harmony and affect national security. Action required by Civil Admin (administration),” he tweeted.
The opposition Congress party also reacted to the event, with spokesperson Shama Mohamed saying on Twitter: “Munawwar Faruqui has been relentlessly punished for alleged jokes which he didn’t even crack, but there is no action against the ‘Dharm Sansad’ members who openly called for genocide against Muslims in Haridwar! Is India still a democracy!”
Munawar Faruqui is a Muslim stand-up comedian who has recently suggested that he may not do any more shows amid protests by the Hindu right-wing outfits. Twelve of Faruqui’s shows got canceled in two months over alleged threats of vandalism as Hindu groups accuse him of mocking Hindu deities.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Trinamool Congress party, Saket Gokhale, on Thursday filed a complaint against the organizers and speakers of the religious gathering, which had been held from Dec. 17 to 20. The event was organized by controversial seer Yati Narsinghanand Giri.
Footage from the three-day event has gone viral, with participants were calling for violence against Muslims. A part of the conference was live.
Sadhvi Annapurna aka Pooja Shakun Pandey, general secretary of Hindu Mahasabha, gave a call for the mass murder of Muslims.
“Nothing is possible without weapons. If you want to eliminate their population then kill them. Be ready to kill and be ready to go to jail. Even if 100 of us are ready to kill 20 lakhs (2 million) of them (Muslims), then we will be victorious,” she said.
Uttarakhand police chief Ashok Kumar said they would investigate the matter and take action as per the law.
The police have registered a case against the offenders for promoting disharmony, enmity, or feelings of hatred between different groups.