Mira Road clashes: Plea in Bombay High Court seeks cases against 3 MLAs for alleged hate speeches

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A petition has been filed in Bombay High Court, seeking registration of FIRs against Maharashtra BJP MLA Nitesh Rane, Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh and independent MLA from Mira Bhayander, Geeta Jain, who is supporting the BJP, for alleged hate speeches following the violence in Mira Road, a suburb north of Mumbai, in January.

Five people, including two victims of the violence, approached the High Court stating they were compelled to approach it since no FIR had been registered against the alleged hate speeches.

The petition is likely to be heard on March 27.

The plea, filed by Aftab Siddique, Ashfak Ali Akbarali Shaikh, Asgar Ali Shakoor Raeen, Ismail Khan and Sajjad Khatib, who hail from Thane and Mumbai, stated that violence erupted in a minority locality in Mira Road on January 21.

While it continued, Rane, Jain and Singh visited parts of Mira Road between January and February and openly threatened the minority community through their speeches and also gave interviews to the media during that duration, the plea alleged.

The petition said that Naya Nagar police station in Mira-Bhayandar police commissionerate, and Shivaji Nagar and Ghatkopar police stations in Mumbai police commissionerate be directed to register the FIR against the three leaders for allegedly giving hate speeches within their jurisdiction between January and February.

The plea stated that multiple major and minor clashes took place after the alleged hate speeches and cited instances when some people from minority groups were assaulted.

It claimed that no FIRs were registered by police either for the hate speeches nor in cases where people from the minority group were attacked. In cases where FIRs were registered for attacks or vandalism against minority group members, no arrests were made by police, the plea said.

The people, according to the plea, were believed to have approached the police and requested the registration of FIRs against the MLAs. But, since no action had been taken, the petitioners approached the High Court, it said.

The petitioners pointed out that the police failed to take action of registering the FIRs against such hate speeches in compliance with the mandate of the Supreme Court.

“Such action is to be taken irrespective of the religion of the maker of the speech or the person who commits such act, so that the secular character of India is preserved and protected,” the petition said.

It alleged that the police failed to register an FIR on the incidents of hate speech despite the same being reported widely in the media, the presence of information in the public domain and notice to the police about the spread of hate speech and commission of offences.

The plea sought directions to the Mumbai Police to register FIR against Rane, Jain and Singh under sections 153 (provocation with intent to cause riots), sections 153A, 153B (promoting enmity between groups), 295A (defiling place of worship), 504 and 505 (statements breaking public peace, causing mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The plea called for an FIR against Rane and Jain for alleged hate speeches in Mira Road on January 23 and a case against Rane for alleged hate speech in Govandi on February 10.

Published By:

Prateek Chakraborty

Published On:

Mar 22, 2024

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