Activist seeks to file FIR against Hindu member Janjagruti Samiti for community provocative statements

A city activist had run from pillar to post for more than a month to register an FIR against Hindu activist Janjagruti Samiti for provocative community-level statements accusing Muslim fruit vendors of ‘spitting jihad’ and calling for them to boycott. An FIR was finally registered at the Sanjay Nagar police station on Friday, but only after the intervention of a city court.

Zia R. Nomani, a founding member of the Law and Policy Research Institute, filed a complaint against Chandru Mogar, coordinator of the Hindu Janjagruthi Samithi, for his statements at Sanjay Nagar police station on April 6. However, the police refused to register an FIR citing Jurisdictional Issues. “I met all the members of the hierarchy of the city police asking them to take charge of a case, but I failed to get them to act. I was forced to take a complaint to court requesting instructions from the police,” he said. Sanjay Nagar Police have now registered an FIR against Chandru Mogar under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code for “promoting enmity between different groups for reasons of religion, race…”.

The Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, the organization with which the accused is associated, has been under police scrutiny in the state as members associated with it have been charged and arrested for the murders of scholar M. M. Kalburgi and by publisher-activist Gauri Lankesh.

Mr Nomani said that having had to involve the courts to obtain an FIR against such community provocative speech was a “stain on our democracy”. “We feel that the police are working under pressure, either from these organizations or from the ruling party. But isn’t it dangerous for state security to relax organizations like the HJS, whose members have been accused of murdering writers,” he said. “Now that the FIR has been registered, I hope the police will diligently investigate the matter and bring the accused to justice,” he added.

A senior police official in the city, who did not wish to be named, said there was no question of slowing down any Hindutva organization, but the FIR was not registered in due to jurisdictional issues, as the speech in question was not delivered to Sanjay Nagar.

Another complaint denied

Mr Nomani attempted to file another complaint on Saturday against the organizers of a Hindu Rashtra convention held in Rajajinagar on May 8, organized by Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, alleging that several hate speeches had been made against the Muslim community during the event.

“The police refused to take our complaint, ordering us to lodge our complaint in Rajajinagar where the convention was held. But I saw the videos, the reports from the convention at my house in Sanjay Nagar. The police are reluctant to receive complaints against Hindutva organisations,” Mr Nomani said.