The Supreme Court on Thursday sought responses from the Union government and states on a petition seeking to stop the “growing menace of targeting and terrorising the Muslim community of India”, Live Law reported.

The petitioner, Shaheen Abdullah, sought action under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other laws against persons and organisations engaging in such hate crimes.

Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioner, said that action needed to be taken against those making hate speeches or engaging in hate crimes, according to PTI.

A bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravikumar, however, remarked that the petition was vague and that cognisance could be taken of individual cases where first information reports were filed.

Sibal, however, said that the petition is precise as it had listed several incidents. He said that many petitions have been filed in court to stop such crimes, but they still take place.

The court tagged the matter along with other petitions on the same subject that were pending before another bench.

Abdullah said in her plea that the Muslim community was being targeted by the ruling party members, who have delivered hate speeches on many occasions.

“The spread of hate towards Muslims and other minorities gets accelerated and becomes all the more far-reaching in its impact as a result of the support, directly or indirectly, extended to radical miscreants, who engage in acts of hate crimes, physical violence as well as communally charged speeches by the ruling political party,” the petition said.

Abdullah cited examples of news channels progammes in which Muslims were demonised and examples of speeches calling for genocide and the economic and social boycott of the community. The plea said that no action is taken against individuals or organisations that engage in such hate speech.

“In most cases, minimal action of merely registering FIRs and that too under lesser offences, is the only thing that is done by the authorities which seems to be more of a formality than any genuine initiation of the criminal machinery,” the petition said.

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