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New Delhi: Inflammatory, anti-Muslim slogans were allegedly raised at an event organised by former Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Sunday. The event, organised under the ‘Bharat Jodo Movement’, demanded the end of “colonial-era laws” by implementing a Uniform Civil Code. BJP leader Gajendra Chauhan was also present.
While the event was reportedly held without police permission, the Indian Express reported, no action was taken till Sunday evening and the gathering was allowed to continue. In photos and videos of the event, people can also be seen flouting COVID-19 protocol and not wearing face masks.
प्रधानमंत्री जी से निवेदन है कि अंग्रेजी कानून समाप्त करें और समान शिक्षा समान चिकित्सा समान कर संहिता समान दंड संहिता समान श्रम संहिता समान पुलिस संहिता समान न्यायिक संहिता समान नागरिक संहिता समान धर्मस्थल संहिता समान जनसंख्या संहिता लागू करें🙏 @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/2yBChEj608
— Ashwini Upadhyay (@AshwiniUpadhyay) August 9, 2021
A police officer told the Indian Express that the organisers had asked for permission and been rejected. “We refused permission after informing them about DDMA guidelines (which do not allow for gatherings in view of the Covid protocol), and later we got to know that Ashwini Upadhyay was looking for an indoor venue. Police arrangements were in place and we thought around 50 people would come, but suddenly many people in small groups started gathering. They were protesting peacefully, but started raising slogans when they were dispersing.”
Several video clips doing the rounds on social media show communal, inflammatory and anti-Muslim slogans being raised at the event, including ones directly calling for Muslims to be murdered. DCP, New Delhi district Deepak Yadav told the Indian Express, “We are verifying all the video clips.”
On Monday morning, ANI reported that the Delhi police had filed an FIR against unknown persons for inflammatory slogans being raised.
A reporter from the ‘National Dastak’ YouTube channel was allegedly hounded by a crowd at the event, with the crowd forcing him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. In a video that has gone viral on social media, the reporter, Anmol Pritam, can be heard resisting the crowd and saying that he will chant the slogan only if and when he wants to, and not because he is being harassed into it. Some in the crowd respond by calling him a “jihadi”.
तथाकथित नक़ली हिंदू संगठनों ने बहुजन पत्रकार @anmolpritamND को धमकाने की कोशिश की।
इस घटना से यही प्रतीत होता है कि यह तथाकथित हिंदू संगठन दलित, ओबीसी समाज से आने वाले लोगों को हिंदू नही मानते हैं।
— National Dastak (@NationalDastak) August 8, 2021
Upadhyay has now claimed that the slogans were raised after his event was over and he has no knowledge about them. “The rally was from 10 to 12 pm. Whereas the sloganeering happened around 5 pm. Our rally was outside park hotel but the slogans were given near Parliament house police station. I do not know who they were,” Upadhyay told Bar and Bench.
The BJP leader, who is also a Supreme Court lawyer, had earlier filed a PIL in the apex court demanding a judicial panel that would look into drafting a ‘comprehensive’ and ‘stringent’ penal code that would apply to everyone. He later withdrew the PIL.