Indian Supreme Court intervenes in hate speech against Muslims

India’s Supreme Court says it will take up a petition to indict several Hindu religious leaders dressed in saffron robes for allegedly making highly provocative remarks against Muslims at a closed-door meeting last month

NEW DELHI – India’s Supreme Court said on Wednesday it will take up a petition to indict several saffron-clad Hindu religious leaders for allegedly making highly provocative statements against Muslims at a closed-door meeting last month. speech.

Three Supreme Court justices said they were sending a notification to the Uttarakhand government that they would investigate the case next week.

At a December meeting in the holy city of Haridwar in northern Uttarakhand state, religious leaders called on Hindus to arm themselves and carry out “genocide” against Muslims, according to a police complaint.

Police said they are questioning the suspects, but no arrests have been made.

Uttarakhand is ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which came to power in 2014 and was re-elected in a landslide in 2019, leading to targeting of Muslims and other minorities Ethnic attacks have proliferated.

Muslims make up nearly 14% of India’s 1.4 billion population.

The petition filed by retired judge Anjana Prakash said speeches given at gatherings of Hindu religious leaders “not only pose a serious threat to the unity and integrity of our nation, but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens,” Bar & Bench, Indian Law Online portal for news.

Last month, Indian police arrested a Hindu religious leader for allegedly making disparaging remarks about India’s independence leader Mohandas Gandhi and praising his assassins.

Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by a Hindu extremist at a prayer meeting in the Indian capital in 1948 because he was considered sympathetic to Muslims during the division of the Indian subcontinent into secular India and Islamic Pakistan by British colonialists in 1947.

Kalicharan Maharaj was arrested in central Madhya Pradesh for allegedly promoting hatred between religious groups in a speech.

According to media reports, Maharaj said “Gandhi has destroyed the country … Tribute to Nathuram Goddes who killed him.”

If convicted, he could be jailed for up to five years.