Delhi Court Orders FIR Against VHP Leader For Hate Speech in Lal Kuan Communal Violence Case

The complainant in this case was Harsh Mander, who has petitioned for FIRs against leaders whose speeches allegedly incited violence in north east Delhi too.

New Delhi: The Tees Hazari court has ordered the registration of an FIR against Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Alok Kumar for inciting violence against Muslims in Old Delhi’s Lal Kuan, nine months ago, NewsClick has reported.

The court’s order came on February 23, a day before communally targeted violence began in north east Delhi, leading to the death of 53, nearly 300 injuries and immense destruction of property. Several ground reports have it that Muslims suffered significantly more losses than Hindus.

One of the original petitioners who had asked that FIRs be registered against the likes of BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who is believed to have incited violence in north east Delhi through hate speeches, is activist Harsh Mander. In turn, Mander has been extraordinarily accused by Delhi Police of inciting violence himself.

Mander is also the complainant in the Lal Kuan case. In an article for Scroll, after making a ground visit to the area in the immediate aftermath of the July 2019 violence, Mander wrote along with Navsharan Singh on how a squabble over a parked motorcycle grew into a situation steeped with communal tension thanks to the role played by local rightwing activists.

VHP’s Alok Kumar, had headed a rally on July 9 in the area, reported NewsClick, allegedly in response to the “vandalisation of a temple” on July 1.

In his Twitter bio, Kumar identifies himself as the “international working president” of the VHP. He has been a former deputy speaker of the Delhi assembly.

According to his tweets, he also visited parts of north east Delhi in the aftermath of the riots.

Although the court order does not mandate arrest but only the register of an FIR, Mander’s lawyer Sarim Navid has told the news outlet that such an order at a time like now will act as a “morale booster and [stand] as a testimony to the fight against hate speech.”