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U'khand: SIT constituted to probe Haridwar 'hate speech' conclave

BJP government is under tremendous pressure from different quarters for acting against those who used incendiary words against Muslims

Our Bureau, PTI Dehradun Published 02.01.22, 02:49 PM
A glimpse of the controversial event

A glimpse of the controversial event File Picture

An SIT was constituted on Sunday to look into the recently held Dharma Sansad in Haridwar where hate speeches were allegedly delivered by some participants.

A five-member Special Investigation Team has been set up to probe the matter, Garhwal DIG KS Nagnyal said.


When asked whether some arrests were also likely in connection with the case, the DIG said definitely if the investigation leads to concrete evidence.

"We have constituted an SIT. It will carry out a probe. If solid evidence against those involved is found appropriate action will be taken," the official said.

An FIR has already been lodged against five people in the case, including Waseem Rizvi who changed his name to Jitendra Narayan Tyagi after converting to Hinduism last month, Sadhvi Annapurna, Dharamdas, a seer named Sindhu Sagar and organiser of the Sansad Yati Narasimhanand, the head priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad.

The BJP government in Uttarakhand is under tremendous pressure from different quarters for acting against those who delivered hate speeches against Muslims at the Dharma Sansad held in Haridwar from December 16-19.

Retired police officers, including former DGPs of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, have written to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami describing the Sansad as a blot on Uttarakhand's long tradition of peaceful coexistence of different religions.

Written by former Haryana DGP Vikas Narain Rai, former Uttar Pradesh DGP Vibhuti Narain Rai, former UP inspector general SR Darapuri and retired IPS Vijay Shankar Singh, the letter demands action against organisers of the event which spread fear and terror.

Muslims also took out marches in Dehradun and Haridwar on Friday and Saturday demanding immediate arrest of those who delivered the provocative speeches at the Sansad.

The hate concave stirred huge row all across.

Five former chiefs of staff and several other veterans have written an open letter to the President expressing concern about the implications that hate speeches and genocide calls hold for national security, warning that any breach of peace and harmony within the nation would “embolden inimical external forces”.

The letter, sent on Friday, apprehends a threat to the social fabric of the country.

Copies were sent to the Chief Justice of India, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, defence and home ministers, all political party chiefs and the three service chiefs, besides the national security adviser.

The signatories include four former chiefs of naval staff — Admirals L. Ramdas, Vishnu Bhagwat, Arun Prakash and R.K. Dhowan — a former chief of air staff, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi; several senior veterans, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi and many retired bureaucrats and civil society activists.

Referring to the Dharma Sansad (religious parliament) in Haridwar and a meeting in Delhi where calls were given to establish a “Hindu Rashtra” and pick up weapons to kill Muslims, the signatories have called for urgent action against those who made such provocative statements.

“We cannot allow such incitement to violence together with public expressions of hate — which not only constitute serious breaches of internal security, but which could also tear apart the social fabric of our nation,” the letter says, underscoring the signatories’ disgust at some of the speakers urging the uniformed services to join the proposed genocide.

Uttarakhand police had earlier sent notices of appearance to Jitendra Narayan Tyagi and Sadhvi Annapurna, who are accused of delivering hate speeches against Muslims at a Dharma Sansad (religious parliament) in Haridwar recently.

Jitendra Narayan Tyagi was earlier known as Waseem Rizvi. He had been the president of the Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, but changed his name after converting to Hinduism.

Actor Naseeruddin Shah has said those calling for a genocide of Muslims are in effect calling for a full-scale civil war

In an interview to The Wire seeking his opinion on the genocide calls, Shah told Karan Thapar: “I wonder if these people know what they are talking about. What they are calling for is a full-scale civil war. Two-hundred million of us are not going to get wiped out that easily. Two-hundred million of us are going to fight back. Two-hundred million of us claim this to be our motherland. Two-hundred million of us belong here; we were born here, generations of our families have lived here and died here. I’m certain that if any such movement begins, it will be met with a massive resistance and a massive amount of anger.”

Angry and resentful at the manner in which Muslims are in the process of being reduced to second-class citizens, Shah added: “This is an attempt to spread a phobia among the Muslims, and the Muslims must not give into it…. We must not admit that this is frightening us because if it comes to the crunch, we will fight back…. Because we are defending our homes, we are defending our homeland, we are defending our families, we are defending our children.… I am not talking of our beliefs, beliefs very easily get threatened.”

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