Several civil society organisations (CSOs) have demanded Jharkhand chief secretary Sukhdev Singh and DGP Ajay Kumar Singh for action against hosting public meetings and social media posts aimed at inciting communal hatred in the state.
A delegation of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, Sajha Manch, Adivasi Adhikar Manch and Ambedkar Vichar Manch on Monday afternoon met the chief secretary and the director general of police in this connection and hinted that such public meetings will increase before the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.
A joint release issued to the media after the meeting claimed that leaders associated with different wings of BJP (the principal Opposition party in Jharkhand having a JMM-Congress-RJD alliance government) and RSS have been giving provocative speeches against Muslims and Christians by organising public meetings in Ranchi and other districts in the recent past.
“Hindutva leader Bhairav Singh incited people against Muslims and Christians in the name of Hindu religion at a public meeting held at Sukurhutu, Kanke, Ranchi on July 24. On the violence in Manipur, the same leader twisted facts and spoke against Christians and Adivasis with the aim of spreading religious hatred,” states the memorandum submitted to the chief secretary and the DGP.
“People were incited to violence against Muslims. People were instigated against the constitutional values of secularism in the name of Hinduism. At the same time, people were also mobilised in favour of Hindu Rashtra. Slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ were being raised continuously during these points of the speech,” the memorandum alleged.
The delegation claimed that the concept of Hindu Rashtra is unconstitutional.
“This speech is clearly an offence under several sections of the Indian Penal Code such as 153A, 153B, 295A, 505(1) etc. and immediate action should be taken under these sections,” the memorandum states.
“Such meetings are being organised in different villages of Ranchi and such speeches are being given continuously by Bhairav Singh. There has also been talk of economic boycott of Muslims in many meetings. In other districts also, the work of breaking the Jharkhandi society is being done by holding such meetings. If this type of speech is not stopped and action is not taken against such people, then it will disintegrate the concept of secularism of our Constitution and the society and the right to equality established in Section 14 and equal citizenship established in Section 21 of the Constitution,” the memorandum added.
The delegation also presented the DGP with a reference to the Supreme Court judgment in “Ashwini Kumar Upadhaya versus Union of India and Others.” (Writ Petition (Civil) No. 943/2021) in which the Apex Court had given a clear order to the state and the Centre that action should be taken in cases of hate speech by filing suo motu FIR without any complaint.
“But it is unfortunate that neither action is being taken against such people by the police and administration nor are such meetings being stopped,” the memorandum alleged.