Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of organisations formed to defend people’s rights and democratic values in Jharkhand, has demanded that Dhirendra Shastri of Bageshwar Dham should not be allowed to hold meetings anywhere in the state.
The outfit members, in a letter addressed to Jharkhand’s chief secretary, director general of police and home secretary on Wednesday, have stated that Dhirendra Shastri should not be allowed to hold meetings in Palamu or in any area of Jharkhand, under any circumstances, because he has a long history of hateful, inflammatory, communal and anti-constitutional speeches and comments.
“Recent newspaper reports have revealed that a meeting of Dhirendra Shastri of Bageshwar Dham was planned in Palamu from December 10-12, 2023. Initially, the local administration had given permission but then the deputy commissioner cancelled the permission citing likely damage to the ecosystem along the river banks and the 'Sarkar Apke Dwar' programme. According to reports, the organisers are trying to get permission again,” the letter states.
Mahasabha has reminded the administration that Shastri has been continuously talking about making India a "Hindu Rashtra" and instigates people towards this end in the name of religion.
“Please note that the concept of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ is contrary to our constitutional values. Dhirendra Shastri makes communal remarks against Muslims and Christians in his meetings and discourses and tries to create hatred among Hindus against these minority communities. Criminal cases are registered against Dhirendra Shastri in many states for making inflammatory speeches and spreading communalism. For example, for a speech given in March 2023 in Udaipur (Rajasthan), against remarks given in October 2023 in Punjab, etc. Dhirendra Shastri has openly supported political leaders who spread communalism in his religious meetings,” the letter states.
“In such a situation, the possibility cannot be ruled out that anti-constitutional, inflammatory and communal speeches will be given by Dhirendra Shastri in the meetings proposed to be organised in Palamu or other areas of Jharkhand. If this type of speech is not stopped and action is not taken against such people, then the values of secularism and the equal rights enshrined in Article 14 of our Constitution and value of equality enshrined in Article 21 will be violated. It is also clear that before 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, there is an attempt to create religious polarisation among the people of the state for vested electoral gains through such individuals and events,” the letter adds.
The letter also demanded that if hateful and inflammatory speech is made anywhere in the state, a "suo-moto FIR be registered against the culprits without waiting for any complaint under sections 153A, 153B, 295A, 505(1) of the IPC and other related sections and appropriate action should be taken”.