New Delhi: As violence in the national capital entered its fifth day, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to file a response within a month on action taken against hate speeches that have allegedly triggered the clashes over the Citizenship Amendment Act. The next hearing will take place on April 13. Also Read - 'Stay Indoors, Observe Shab-E-Barat Solemnly', Delhi Police Urges Muslims Amid COVID-19 Lockdown
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice S Muralidhar, heard the plea demanding action against those involved in the communal violence in various areas of Northeast Delhi. The petition, filed by social activist Harsh Mander, prayed for the arrest of four BJP leaders – Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, Abhay Verma and Parvesh Verma – for allegedly propagating hate in the national capital. Also Read - Delhi Police Using Cellphone Data to Trace People Who Attended Jamaat Congregation: Report
Furious over the delay in registering FIRs against the BJP leaders, the bench issued a whip to the Delhi Police ad urged it to “seriously consider consequences”. Also Read - Delhi Police' Head Constable Gets Heart-Warming Letter From 8-Year-Old Daughter, Viral Message Will Move You to Tears
During the proceedings, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said in court that out of so many hate speeches, the petitioner had selected just three. He sought more time to file an affidavit, while the counsel appearing for the petitioner sought “immediate” arrest of the three leaders.
On the other hand, Delhi Police argued that in a conscious decision they had decided not to file an FIR for hate speech against anyone at this stage as it won’t help in restoring peace and normalcy in Delhi.
Notably, the high court bench had, yesterday, played video clips of hate speeches by the four BJP leaders and reprimanded the police on why there had not been FIRs against them.
Widespread violence has encapsulated the northeast regions of Delhi that began with a faceoff between pro- and anti-CAA groups on Sunday and took a communal turn a day later. It escalated on Tuesday with reports of even journalists being attacked coming in. The death toll climbed up to 35 today and more than 200 people have been injured in the clashes.