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Haridwar Hate Speeches: Supreme Court Seeks Uttarakhand Reply In 10 Days

Hate speeches were made at a Dharma Sansad or religious assembly in Haridwar (File)

New Delhi:

The Uttarakhand government has been ordered by the Supreme Court to reply to a petition on the “Dharma Sansad” or religious assembly hate speech case within 10 days. The court was hearing a petition by former judge of Patna High Court Justice Anjana Prakash and journalist Qurban Ali.

At the Dharma Sansad, Hindu religious leaders in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar made open calls for genocide and use of weapons against Muslims. Days later, they were seen in a video laughing with a police officer, who they said will be “on our side”.

The Supreme Court allowed the petitioners to approach local authorities with their request to stop another Dharma Sansad to be held in UP’s Aligarh on January 23.

The petitioners sought an independent and credible investigation by a special team into the hate speeches.

Clips from the Haridwar event — held from December 17 to 20 — were circulated on social media and drew sharp criticism from former military chiefs, activists and even international tennis legend Martina Navratilova.

Those who organised the event and gave the hate speeches maintain that they have done no wrong.

“I am not ashamed of what I have said. I am not afraid of police. I stand by my statement,” Prabodhanand Giri — photographed often with BJP leaders including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Dhami — told NDTV on December 23.

UP will vote in a seven-phase election starting February 10. Counting is on March 10.

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