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Petition Filed Against The Attempt To Communally Polarize Moradabad

By Shehzad Poonawalla

27 July, 2014

To, The National Human Rights Commission,    New Delhi.
   The National Commission for Minorities,    New Delhi.
   The Election Commission of India,    New Delhi.
   The Director General of Police,    Uttar Pradesh.
   The Ministry of Home Affairs,    Government of India.
   The Prime Minister of India. (Hard Copy being submitted)

Dear Sir/Madam,                  

         The tense situation prevailing in various areas of Uttar Pradesh particularly Saharanpur which witnessed violent clashes between members of two communities leaving at least 2 people dead and several injured is known to you. An attempt to communally polarise the atmosphere is being made in Moradabad as well where leaders of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) including their state president and MPs, MLAs have been detained in their attempt to violate the law along with leaders from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

While the ground situation remains tense, leaders of the BJP are using the social media to inflame passions. Consider the following , extremely offensive and illegal set of tweets by Mr.C T Ravi , General Secretary of the BJP in Karnataka and a member of the National Executive of the BJP, who is not only an MLA but has been a former Minister. His twitter handle is @CTRavi_BJP.
He has tweeted and re-tweeted the following tweets on (Saturday evening 26th July 2014 ) (see images/attachments of tweets)

Tweet1: "@CTRavi_BJP: @SouleFacts Only the Gujarat model that worked from 2002 in containing their (Muslims) rioting elements, can work. Apply across Bharat."

Tweet2: " @Sootradhar: Momins attacked Sikhs with Swords and Bandooks #SaharanpurRiots 
http://t.co/QSjuy9CbhJ "

Tweet3: "@ggiittiikkaa: How Congress leaders made 1000s of Muslims attack the Gurudwara & cause #SaharanpurRiots - watch this Sikh speak: http://t.co/dlstQFm8JF "

Tweet4: "@Sootradhar: Fact that Momins from Moradabad and Muzzafarnagar were assembled in Saharanpur speaks of a preplanned conspiracy. #SaharanpurRiots"

These tweets are extremely inflammatory , hate-inciting and aimed at communalising the atmosphere. They are violative of various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 including sections 153A,295A,505, etc. It also constitutes violation of Section 66A of I.T.Act 2000.These sections are cognizable and non-bailable.

The modus operandi and design behind these riots seems to be reminiscent of the modus operandi in Muzaffarnagar riots where dozens of people were killed on the basis of false propaganda spread via social media. Back then too I had drawn the attention of the law enforcement agencies and the NHRC to such practices by top leaders of the BJP including Subramanian Swamy and VHPs Praveen Togadia.

I pray to the NHRC for the following reliefs:

1) Direct MHA to alert all state governments of misuse of Social Media to communalise the situation in Uttar Pradesh and to take strict action against those indulging in the same. To initiate all steps to promote communal harmony in the state of Uttar Pradesh. 

2) Direct Delhi Police to register an FIR in the said matter immediately. As per SC rulings there are no territorial bars on registration of FIRs there is no hindrance for Delhi Police to register the case. It is also pertinent to note that I, the complainant, am a resident of Delhi and since the commission of this offence has no territorial boundaries as such in as much it is being committed via social media, there is enough locus standi for Delhi Police to register the said case.

3) Direct the Election Commission of India to issue show cause notice to the BJP to ascertain its stand on the issue, as its member is openly violating the provisions of the Representation of People's Act and the Constitution.

This email is being simultaneously shared with the following :

1) Prime Minister's Office and Home Ministry:

Since Mr C T Ravi belongs to the same party as the PM and the HM and has made a mention of "Gujarat Model from 2002" (an obvious reference to the post Godhra riots where thousands of Muslims were killed ) to "contain Muslim rioting elements" and that the same should be "applied across India", it is essential that the PM and HM clarify if they support or endorse this brand of venomous, communal politics and agree with their colleague on whether the PM himself used this "model" in 2002? 

2) Media:

It is my fervent request to the Media to ensure that this brand of communal politics does not get encouragement or endorsement and to ensure that authorities like MHA and the PMO step up and send out a strong message against the attempt to polarise being made by members of the BJP.

3) National Commission for Minorities

It is my fervent plea that the NCM follows up with the Government of Uttar Pradesh on the safety and security of all communities and to ensure post-riot rehabilitation and reconciliation.

Shehzad Poonawalla A46 , South Extension Part 2, New Delhi 110049. +919960675176 Lawyer-Activist.


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