Several Opposition leaders, including those from the Congress and the TMC, on Thursday, December 23, condemned what they said was a "hate speech conclave" held in Haridwar recently and called for strict action against those involved. All-India Trinamool Congress national spokesman Saket Gokhale demanded immediate action against the organisers and speakers of the Dharma Sansad held recently in Haridwar, where "hate speeches" were allegedly made against Muslims. Gokhale lodged a complaint in this connection at the Jwalapur police station in Haridwar district, asking the Station House Officer to register an FIR within 24 hours.
At the event, several speakers were seen in videos, making inflammatory and provocative speeches, calling for the killing of people from the minority community. Held at Ved Niketan Dham in Haridwar from December 17-20, the Dharma Sansad was organised by Yati Narasimhanand Giri of the Juna Akhada, who is already under the police scanner for making hate speeches and inciting violence against Muslims.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Mahmood Madani wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Minorities, over the remarks made at the Haridwar meet, calling on them to take cognizance of the matter and prosecute the perpetrators.
Madani said, "They have posed threat to the peace and communal harmony of the country. I demand strong actions must be taken against organizers and speakers.â The All India Professionals Congress also condemned in the strongest possible terms the "genocidal statements made by Hindutva leaders" in the "hate speech conclave" organised in the holy city of Haridwar.
Will the Union of India and other institutions remain mute spectators, the Congress wing for professionals asked. Reacting to the remarks at the Haridwar meet, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, "This is bloodcurdling stuff. Is it too much to expect. @CMuttarakhand to take action under the existing hate-speech laws? (sic)"
Congress MP Karti Chidambaram said on Twitter, "Narsinghanand Organises 3-Day Hate Speech Conclave in Haridwar... are the Faux Hindutva Nazis planning an holocaust? Will the Union of India & its institutions be a blind/mute spectator? (sic)"
Congress spokesperson Shama Mohammed said Munawar 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!" she asked.
Chhattisgarh minister and senior party leader T S Singhdeo said India's traditional value is -- 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbhkam - World is a Family'.
"Our Constitutional value is Secularism - Respect for all religions. Our primary Fundamental Right is Right to equality. Such bigoted thoughts & assemblies are against the foundation of India. This is criminal!" he said reacting to the remarks made at the meet.
Hyderabad Member of Parliament (MP) and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that a complaint had been filed after directions to the partyâs Uttarakhand unitâs chief. âItâs a clear case of incitement to genocide,â he said.
âIf strict action isnât taken, then weâll launch a state-wide agitation demanding arrest and exemplary punishment The calls for genocide and ethnic cleansing against Muslims are culmination of 60 years of dehumanising speech by Sangh Parivar against Muslims and Christians Most speakers at the event are repeat offenders and enjoy close relationships with powers that be. BJP governments at the Union and state-level are complicit in this call for genocide This is why there have been no arrests, no condemnation from govt and not even a whisper from moderate Hindus,â he added.
Late in the evening, Owaisi tweeted, âPolice complaint has been filed in Haridwar by AIMIM Uttarakhand team.Need exemplary action NOW! Society must disown calls for genocide! People should actively fight majoritarian radicalisation!â
CPI(M), from its official Twitter handle said, "Munawar 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!"