Ex-Armed Officers Write To President & PM On Haridwar Hate-Speech

New Delhi: Five former chiefs of staff of Indian armed forces along with over hundred other citizens including various veterans, bureaucrats wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, about the ‘hate-speeches’ and regarding ‘open call of the genocide of Indian Muslims’ at various events, most recently in Dharam Sansad at Haridwar and Delhi.

The letter refers to the current border situations. The letter warns such calls for violence can cause disharmony internally, and also embolden external forces.

“Any breach of peace and harmony within the nation will embolden inimical external forces. The unity and cohesiveness of our men and women in uniform, including the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Police Forces, will be seriously affected by allowing such blatant calls for violence against one or the other community in our diverse and plural society,” it said.

Refering to the ‘Dharam Sansad,’ where violence call against Muslims was directly given, the letter read as “We are seriously perturbed by the content of speeches made during a 3-day religious conclave called a Dharma Sansad, of Hindu Sadhus and other leaders, held at Haridwar between 17-19 December 2021. There were repeated calls for establishing a Hindu Rashtra and, if required, picking up weapons and killing of India’s Muslims in the name of protecting Hinduism,” the letter said.

The letter also mentions an event in Delhi when a large number of persons gathered in Delhi and publicly took an oath resolving to make India a Hindu nation, by fighting and killing if necessary. “More such seditious meetings are being organised in other places,” it said.

“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. One speaker made a call to the army and police to pick up weapons and participate in the cleanliness drive (safai abhiyan). This amounts to asking the army to participate in the genocide of our own citizens, and is condemnable and unacceptable,” it added.

Seventy six Supreme Court Lawyers have written to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and have appealed that the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of the calls for “ethnic cleansing” at two recent religious events in Delhi and Haridwar.

Naming a list of people who had given the call, the advocates wrote that in absence of police action, “Urgent judicial intervention is required to prevent such events that seem to have become the order of the day”.

Pointing to the religious conclaves in Haridwar and Delhi, the letter — signed by eminent lawyers including Dushyant Dave, Prashant Bhushan and Vrinda Grover, Salman Khurshid and former Patna High Court judge Anjana Prakash — read: “The aforementioned events and the speeches delivered during the same are not mere hate speeches but amount to an open call for murder of an entire community”.

The letter said that the speeches pose a “grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens.”

Following outrage and condemnation on social media over the open calls for genocide and use of weapons against Muslims, a police case was filed four days after the Haridwar event, in which only one person was named. Two more names were later added – Dharm Das and one Sadhvi Annapurna.

In one of the videos, “Sadhvi Annapurna” – formerly called Pooja Shakun Pandey — is heard saying, “If you want to finish them off, then kill them… We need 100 soldiers who can kill 20 lakh of them to win this”.

The conclave in Haridwar was organised by Yati Narasimhanand, a religious leader who has been accused in the past of inciting violence with his incendiary speeches.

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