By Abdul Bari Masoud
It has been rife in the country for Hindutva radicals to organise protests, target a particular community with disparaging slurs, and call for their genocide with complete impunity while the police frequently appear to be turning a blind eye or only taking minimal action to impress. And to top it all off, the role of judiciary does not facilitate prosecuting the offender or ensuring that the innocent get justice. In striking contrast, if the person is a member of a minority group, a single made-up tweet is all it takes for authorities to act.
The recent incident in question is the protest march in Gurgaon (Haryana) that was planned by extreme Hindutva organisations.
At a gathering organised on June 29 to condemn the murder of a tailor in Udaipur, members of Hindutva organisations screamed filthy chants about Muslims, prompting the Gurgaon Police in Haryana to file a first information report. As usual, there hasn’t been a single accused investigated or detained. The five accused were allegedly served with summonses twice by the Gurgaon Police, but none of them showed up.
The Bajrang Dal and Vishva Hindu Parishad rally’s organisers have been charged in the incident. A tailor named Kanhaiya Lal was brutally killed in Udaipur, and the killers recorded the crime on camera. He was murdered because he had published a social media message in favour of Nupur Sharma, a spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party who had been suspended. In May, she had insulted the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ while participating in a debate on the Times Now television and other two channels. The two murderers, Mohammed Riyaz Attari and Ghouse Mohammed, have been taken into custody. Five other suspects have already been taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which took over the case from the Rajasthan Police within a short period of time.
At the protest event, some 80 Hindutva supremacists gathered in Gurugram’s Nehru Park and marched until the Harish Bakery Chowk to express their outrage over the murder. An effigy of “Islamic jihad terrorism” was burned.
The protesters can be heard yelling “Goli maro ghaddaron ko” (Shoot the traitors), and “Mulle jab Kate jaingaiy, Ram, Ram chillainge” (Muslims will scream the name of [Hindu deity] Ram, when they are cut to death) in videos from the demonstration. Members of the Hindutva group also yelled insulting phrases against Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
Speaking with Radiance, Mufti Muhammad Saleem Qasmi, President Jamiat-e- Ulema Hind (M) Gurgaon, said after dispersing near Harish Bakery Chowk, the protestors marched in the direction of Sadar Bazar. They burnt an effigy of “Islamic Jihad terrorism” and yelled “desh ke ghaddaron KO, goli maaro saalon ko” and other incendiary phrases near Jama Masjid. He claimed that while the policemen watched in silence, they also beat up a number of fruit vendors after demanding their identities and turning down their fruit carts.
A number of individuals wearing red and saffron shawls and caps could be seen in images taken from the front of the rally. They were seen going along a busy route while yelling extremely offensive slurs towards Muslims. These slogans are heard being continually repeated by one person while being repeated by others. The video also features a lot of women.
Subhash Boken, the police spokesperson, said the Gurgaon police took suo motu notice of the occurrence and lodged the case after videos of the rally went viral on social media.
“During this rally/procession, slogans were raised by using abusive language against a particular community. Taking action in this regard, an FIR has been registered against organisers and others who had raised slogans in the rally,” Boken said.
A police official who spoke to a newspaper on the condition of anonymity said that the Bajrang Dal and Vishva Hindu Parishad were given permission to hold the rally as long as law and order were maintained.
However, two days after the incident, the police booked organisers of the rally under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Based on videos posted to social media, an FIR was filed at the City Police Station. “Videos published on social media and on a few YouTube channels served as the foundation for the filing of the FIR,” Deepak Saharan, DCP (West), stated: “We are confirming the facts, and action will be done in accordance with the law.”
The IPC Sections 153A (promote enmity between different communities), 295A (deliberately outrage religious sentiments), 116 (abetment of offence), 34 (common intention), and 504 (intentional insult with intent to cause breach of peace) have been used to accuse the rally’s organisers.
Ajit Singh, district president of the VHP, led the march from Sadar Bazaar to Sohna Chowk, carrying signs that read, “On this heinous crime, the government should not only give death penalty to the criminals but also take concrete steps towards securing the Hindu society.”
The release of the threatening video following the death of the tailor, according to the demonstrators, posed a danger to national sovereignty and would not be accepted. They wanted the execution of the defendant and payment of Rs. 1 crore to the deceased tailor’s dependents.
Besides Ajit Singh, Yashwant Shekhawat, district secretary of VHP, Abhishek Gaur, district convenor of Bajrang Dal, and Kulbhushan Bhardwaj, former executive district president of BJP, were all given notice under Section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code to appear at the city police station at 11 a.m. on Saturday to join in the investigation but none of them appeared.
The police also issued second notice to them but met with the same fate. It seems that all the accused know that the police cannot treat them as harshly as they treat the other community’s people. These anti-social forces have become so emboldened by the criminal justice system’s double standards that they are unconcerned by any laws.
Muhammad Adeeb, former member of parliament, who resides in Gurgaon, stated to Radiance that he approached the police but they lacked the will and determination to make an arrest. He bemoaned the attitudes of the judiciary and law enforcement machinery, saying that in the country as it is now; there are two sets of laws: one for Hindus and the other for non-Hindus and opposition figures.
The Police Commissioner was also met by the Jamiat Ulema delegation in this regard. According to Mufti Saleem Qasmi, the authorities told them that if they took any serious measures, these individuals would assemble a sizable gathering under the guise of a mahapanchayat.
Bajrang Dal Manesar and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Manesar held a mahapanchayat at Manesar, just 50 kms from Delhi. The event held on Sunday, July 3 under the banner of “Samast Hindu Samaj” called for an “economic boycott” of the local Muslim community. The speakers urged listeners to “not buy anything” from stores and establishments run by Muslims.
The general secretary of the VHP in Manesar, Devender Singh, stated, “These Muslim sellers are not pulling carts for livelihood… It’s all a part of jihad, trading jihad and land jihad. Therefore, they will all be kicked out. We will also talk about how to combat the spreading radical Jihadi dogmatism in the panchayat.
The panchayat also demanded the “impeachment” of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala of the Supreme Court, who demanded that Nupur Sharma apologise to the country for her divisive remarks about Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
The speakers at the panchayat urged the locals to carry their firearms in their pockets rather than their cell phones.
However, the bright side is that these supremacist forces failed to elicit a stronger reaction from their community as just 80 people showed up for the protest rally while only 200 people took part in the mahapanchayat as against the 1000 people attendance claimed by the organisers.