Complainant alleges police inaction on hate speech in Bangalore

Sanjay Nagar Police say investigation into community provocative speech complaint is going in the right direction, but no arrests have been made so far

Even if an FIR has been registered under sections of the IPC 153-A among others, the Sanjay Nagar police have not yet arrested an activist attached to the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti on hate speech involving provocative community statements in the city recently. “Instead of arresting the accused, the police sent me a notice, and the police are demanding to know where I came across this video and say the incident did not occur under their jurisdiction,” said the plaintiff. Zia R. Nomanifounding member of Law and Policy Research Institute.

In addition, a sub-inspector of police attached to the Sanjay Nagar police station reportedly visited the applicant’s home and checked with the landlord how long he had been staying there, also asked a neighbor where the petitioner, etc.

“If I say I saw the video on my mobile or laptop, then the police will take away my gadgets and start harassing me. Although the sections under IPC are not releasable, the police are moving at their own pace for reasons they know best,” Nomani added. This complaint concerned hate speech by Chandru Mogaran activist from the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.

Regarding another complaint filed with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Division in a separate instance of hate speech which allegedly took place on Sunday at a BBMP community hall in Rajajinagar, Nomani said that the police was not even prepared to accept the complaint with an acknowledgment of receipt. Nomani’s complaint said the hate speech labeled the minority community as cancer; spoke of land, economic and love jihad, while a lawyer who was part of the rally began his speech by listing noise and environmental pollution by the community.

“They want us to go to court and fight and go through the cumbersome procedure so that we become discouraged and do not pursue any complaints. It’s like normalizing hate speech that will embolden marginal elements. We will wait a few days and file a PCR with the court and pursue another case,” he added.

A senior police officer from Sanjay Nagar told the Bangalore Mirror that there was a Supreme Court judging that it is a discretionary power of an investigator to decide if he wants to arrest if necessary in a case where the sentence is less than seven years. “The investigation is moving in the right direction and we will bring the case to a logical conclusion. In this case, although the plaintiff knows that the crime did not occur in our jurisdiction (Sanjay Nagar), he persists to have to file a complaint where he lives and not in Rajajinagar where the alleged event took place. He also could have seen a video released of the event somewhere and that is what we are investigating,” said one senior police officer.

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