The Delhi Police on Sunday stopped a Hindutva conclave midway after the event witnessed instances of hate speech, The Indian Express reported.
The mahapanchayat was organised in the Jantar Mantar area by Hindutva bodies – the All India Sanatan Foundation and Hindu Sena – to protest communal clashes that broke out in Haryana’s Nuh on July 31. Six persons were killed in violence in Nuh and then it spread to neighbouring Gurugram in the subsequent days.
Hindu Sena national president Vishnu Gupta, Raksha Dal’s Pinky Chaudhary and the Dasna Devi temple’s head priest Narsinghanand Saraswati were among those who attended the Sunday event.
The conclave began amid heavy police presence at 10 am. The police first intervened around 11.50 am when Saraswati, who is currently on bail in a hate speech case in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar town, was speaking about the clashes in Nuh.
The Hindutva leader said: “If the situation doesn’t change, a non-Hindu person will become the prime minister...You won’t have any land for yourself and will have to drown in the Indian Ocean...since you won’t fight.”
As Saraswati was finishing his speech, two police officials approached him and asked him to stop. While the organisers of the event claimed that the police asked them to disperse, the police said they only asked the Dasna Devi temple’s head priest to leave, reported The Indian Express.
As the event continued, Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Haryana of failing to “sanitise” Nuh district, which he alleged was becoming a hub for criminals, The New Indian Express reported.
Gupta demanded that a Central Reserve Police Force camp or Army cantonment be set up in Nuh – Haryana’s only Muslim-majority district – to instill fear in the minds of criminals.
The Hindu Sena chief also said that partition of the country in 1947 would remain incomplete as long as a single Muslim remained in the country. “This country was divided in 1947 on the basis of religion and as long as a single Muslim is living in this country, the partition will remain incomplete,” he said.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Hemant Tiwari then walked up to him and took his microphone, according to The Indian Express.
“The organisers have been told not to say anything about another community/group,” he said. “Despite our repeated requests, you didn’t listen to us. Hence...this mahapanchayat is over. Please leave. We told you not to take names of another community…”
The crowd then dispersed between 12.15 pm to 12.30 pm. A minor argument took place between the police and members of the conclave, after which five to six persons were briefly detained.
On August 13, Hindutva groups had held a mahapanchayat in Haryana’s Palwal district to protest the violence in Nuh. During the event, a speaker had demanded “100 arms for each Hindu village” in the region.
Another speaker was heard saying about Muslims: “If you raise a finger, we will cut off your hands.”
The police had registered a case against unidentified persons in connection with the the Palwal event for allegedly delivering provocative speeches, PTI reported. The first information was registered under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.