Delhi Police refuses to register complaint against PM Modi for the latter’s alleged hate speech

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By Abdul Bari Masoud

NEW DELHI—The police inspector of Mandir Marg Police Station here has refused to register an FIR against Prime Minister Narendra Modi who made a communally provocative speech at an election rally in Rajasthan.

The complaint was filed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday at the Mandir Marg Police Station.

CPI(M) has now sent the complaint to Delhi police commissioner.

Brinda Karat, member of the CPI (M) Polit Bureau, and Com. Pushpinder Singh Grewal, Delhi State Secretariat member, went to the police station to file the complaint, but the Station House Officer (SHO) refused to register it.

They said in the complaint that the statements made by the PM are inflammatory and illegal and promote ill-feeling between communities. He is clearly referring to the Hindu community when he refers to the “mangalsutra” and “gold” of mothers and sisters. Similarly, the inference is clear when the PM mentions “जिनके ज़्यादा बच्चे हैं”(who have more chindren) and “घुसपैठियों”(infiltrators) as a reference to the Muslim community. He has clearly used the word Muslim in his speech. Using these stereotypes and tropes results in the vilification of the Muslim community and severely damages the national integrity and unity of this nation, which espoused values of secularism and equality for all its citizens. It causes great injury and harm to members of the Muslim community and constitutes an insult to their identity and religious beliefs as both Muslims and Indian citizens.

“As offenses under Section 153A/153B are cognizable in nature, we request that you immediately register an FIR in respect of the aforementioned incident and conduct an investigation appropriately and urgently. Given the context of the speech as part of campaigning and given the impending elections, the words of the PM may well be inflammatory and lead to disastrous consequences,” they said. Furthermore, in a case such as this, since the relevant portion of the speech has been broadcast all over India, the impact of the utterances made is also pan-India, including within the jurisdiction of your police station. No citizen, no matter how high his position, is above the law. It is therefore incumbent on you to file an FIR under the relevant provisions mentioned against the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendear Modi, they added.

They further underlined that in a speech given during an election rally in Banswara, Rajasthan, on April 21, Modi intentionally and strategically used anti-Muslim tropes in order to convey an impression to the Hindu community that their property was under threat, as the assets of the community, particularly the gold and mangalsutra of Hindu women, would be distributed to members of the Muslim community by the Congress party. This has the effect of targeting individuals based on their membership in a group and exposing the group to hatred. It is utterly illegal to appeal for votes using hate speech, as the Prime Minister has done.

Meanwhile, Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) General Secretary, has dispatched a letter to Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India, seeking the initiation of action against Narendra Modi for his hate speeches. He urged the ECI to take cognizance of this latest complaint and immediately launch proceedings against Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party. An FIR also needs to be lodged against him for inciting communal passions and hatred. Immediate action is called for to stop public debates and discussions from plummeting further.

He said targeting any particular community, to which the ECI will concur, stands in total violation of Section 123(3) of the Representation of People’s Act and the Model Code of Conduct. Apart from the MCC and the RP Act, the ECI has from time to time been sending out advisories to political parties on plummeting levels of public discourse, fake news, invoking religion, hate, etc. The latest was its circular of March 1, 2024.

 Earlier too, the CPI (M) brought before the Commission such blatant violations that totally disregarded the ECI’s directive. Com. Yechury recalled that “the last such complaint was made on April 13, 2024, wherein we had cited various instances where the BJP’s star campaigner, Narendra Modi, had invoked religion, made references to the consecration of the temple at Ayodhya, and levelled serious allegations against opposition parties and labeled them as ‘being against Ram’ etc. Sadly, we are yet to receive any intimation from the ECI of its response to this complaint”.

 Another constituent of the Left Front, the CPI (ML) Liberation, also urged the Election Commission of India to take strict action against PM Narendra Modi to protect any possibility of free and fair elections.

This speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi follows up on his various speeches (speech on April 6 at Ajmer, Rajasthan; speech on April 7 at Nawada, Bihar; speech on April 9 at Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh), where he made repeated references to the Ram temple at Ayodhya and the Hindu community.

CPI-ML also demanded that the ECI implement the Model Code of Conduct in a strict manner and take strict action against Narendra Modi for this disgraceful speech, which is highly venomous, communal, and hate-filled in nature, aimed at promoting enmity between the citizens of India on grounds of religion, and seeks to vitiate the poll atmosphere and spread hatred against the Muslim community.

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