NEW DELHI – All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice (AILAJ), a human rights group, has filed a complaint with Karnataka DGP (Director General of Police) and IGP (Inspector General of Police) demanding legal action against Hindutva groups and others for calling for socio-economic boycott against Muslims.
The rights body drew the attention of the senior police officials towards the hate speeches made by the accused against the minority community with intent to promote enmity between two religious groups.
Two members of the AILAJ submitted the complaint to the Karnataka DGP on Wednesday. In the complaint filed by Maitreyi Krishnan, Co-Convener of AILAJ, they named the organising committee/heads of certain temples, individuals and groups, including Sri Ram Sene, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal etc. as the accused of the crimes.
The AILAJ demanded registration of FIRs against these accused, an independent investigation against them and preventive measures to stop the boycott campaign. It also demanded implementation of a Supreme Court order on vigilantism and the registration of FIRs against the hate speeches.
“The economic boycott called by the VHP and Bajrang Dal affects the right of a citizen to live with dignity, right to livelihood, and the right to equality of members of other religious communities, and amount to a clear act of social exclusion in complete violation of the Constitution,” reads the complaint.
In the complaint, the AILAJ described the boycotts as “stark violation of the anti-exclusion principle underpinning Article 15, and are grossly unconstitutional”.
It pointed out that the act of placing saffron flags on shops to demarcate Hindu businesses from those of other religions (including Muslims and Christians) clearly indicates a design to differentiate Hindus from the rest for the purpose of discrimination, and is a shocking act of social apartheid.
“The creation of such a discrimination that intends to separate Hindus from other religions is an act of untouchability on the grounds of purity of Hindus, strictly prohibited by Article 17,” it noted.
The complaint also gives details about boycott calls given by Hindutva groups and others. Following are the details:
In a press conference held on 31st March, 2022, more than eight Hindu organisations in Bengaluru came together to call for ban on halal meat including Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Shri Ram Sene, Handavi Jatka Meat, Hindu JagaranaVedike, Akhila Bharath Hindu Maha Sabha and Vishwa SanatanParishath
Those in-charge at the Mahalingeshwara Temple in Puttur District of Dakshina Kannada barred Muslims from participating in an auction scheduled for March 31, for the annual festival that is scheduled to begin on April 20.
The management at Hosa Marigudi temple in Udupi district stopped Muslims from taking part in an auction for stalls and shops on March 18 of this year for the annual ‘Suggi Mari Pooje’ to be held in the temple on March 22 and March 23.
In Bappanadu Sri Durgaparameshwari temple in Mulki in Dakshina Kannada, Muslim Traders were evicted from the temple fair. A number of Muslim traders allege that they were asked to leave the premises by members of the Hindutva group, the Bajrang Dal as was reported on 23rd March.
The Sri Ram Sene head Promod Mutalik, as reported on 24th March, made elaborate statements saying they will ensure that non-Hindus do not set up shops in and around any Hindu temple in Belagavi district. That Hindus should boycott all Muslim traders, and that no Muslims shall be allowed to benefit from the festival.
On 25th March, the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal reportedly tried to urge taluk authorities to bar Muslims from doing business during the 16-day Channakeshava car festival which began in Belur on April 2. VHP president Krishnegowda and Bajrang Dal coordinator Aadishmet along with the Belur tahsildar Mohan Kumar are responsible for the same.
On 26th March, it was reported that a mob in Kodagu district forced Muslim vendors to shut down their fruit juice and other stalls set up near the venue of a state-level agricultural programme was scheduled to take place.
A Vishwa Hindu Parishad unit at Srirangapattana has given a memorandum to the tehsildar saying no one outside Hindu fold should be given jobs in the temples and temple trusts during fairs and religious festivals no other faith communities should be allowed to do business.
Posters have been printed and published by Bajarang Dal asking Hindus to avoid doing business with Muslim vendors during Ugadi. The same was published on the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Facebook page Stating that,” Halal is dedicated to Allah. That cannot be offered to Hindu god, so boycott all halal products“.
C T Ravi, a MLA and member of the BJP, on March 30, tweeted, “No more HALAL PRODUCTS for Hindus. Let us fight unitedly against Economic JIHAD.”
On the same day in Bhadravathi city of Shivamogga District, Karnataka, a group of right-wing extremists assaulted a Muslim chicken shop owner, Syed Ansar, for refusing to sell them non-halal meat. They are said to be the regular customers of the shop, but on that day they insisted on non-halal meat. Infuriated by Syed Ansar’s refusal to oblige to their unrealistic demand, they assaulted him along with his cousin Tausif. Ansar has been running the chicken shop at Shivaji Circle in Bhadravathi for the last five years.