Haridwar Police awaits complaint after calls for Muslim genocide
Controversial remarks on Muslim genocide at a three-day summit in Haridwar, Uttarakhand have sparked communal tensions. Calls for "war on Muslims" were made during a three-day 'Dharma Sansad' event hosted by controversial Hindu leader Yati Narsinghanand from December 17 to 19. Speakers at the event also called for the destruction of Muslim sites and the killing of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Why does it matter?
Such communally charged calls at the event have sparked concerns as some of the attendees have ties to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The ruling BJP at the Centre itself has repeatedly faced allegations of being biased towards religious minorities, particularly Muslims. Indian government policies "systematically discriminate against Muslims," according to Human Rights Watch.
What was said in the speech?
At the event, Narsinghanand said that the Muslim population is increasing and expressed concerns over a Muslim PM after the 2029 general elections. After a Muslim becomes PM, 50% of Hindus will convert, 40% will be killed, and 10% will remain abroad, he said. There will be no temples and "our mothers and sisters will be raped and sold," he added.
'Pick up weapons and start cleanliness drive'
Hindu Raksha Sena President Swami Prabodhanand Giri said Hindus were being chased away in Myanmar adding, "We have to make preparations." "Every Hindu must pick up weapons and conduct a cleanliness drive. There's no other solution," he said. "India is on its way to becoming an Islamic nation," said Hindu Mahasabha General Secretary Sadhvi Annapurna, "I will kill or be killed."
I stand by my statement: Prabodhanand
"I am not ashamed of what I have said. I am not afraid of the police. I stand by my statement," Prabodhanand told NDTV when questioned about his remarks. Notably, he has been photographed with Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
Prabodhanand a controversial figure
Giri has made several anti-Muslim remarks in the past. In 2017, he encouraged Hindus to have eight children to "protect Hindutva" saying that the Muslims were increasing their population. In 2018, he said only Muslims rape Hindu women and trap them in "love jihad." Calling them "terrorists," he said Muslims should "go to Pakistan" as India is a "Hindu nation."
Public rages; complaint filed
A portion of the event was streamed live on social media sites, causing outrage among internet users. The Indian-American Muslim Council (IAMC) tweeted saying that it "strongly condemns the Hindu nationalists' call for an anti-Muslim genocide in India." Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Saket Gokhale said he has filed a complaint at the Jwalapur Police Station against the "inflammatory and violence-provoking speeches."
Will act after complaint is filed: Police
The police will only take action after a complaint is registered, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Garhwal Range) Karan Singh Nagnyal told The Indian Express, adding that he had not seen the videos circulating online yet. "How can we do something without a complaint?"