Uttarakhand: Haridwar administration says no permission granted for ‘Dharam Sansad’, Section 144 imposed

The prohibitory orders were imposed hours after the Supreme Court directed the Uttarakhand chief secretary to place on record that no untoward statement will be made at the ‘Dharam Sansad’.

The prohibitory orders were imposed hours after the Supreme Court directed the Uttarakhand chief secretary to place on record that no untoward statement will be made at the 'Dharam Sansad'.

After Hindi religious leaders announced a mahapanchayat in Dada Jalalpur village near Roorkee to discuss the recent violence and stone pelting in the village, the Haridwar administration on Tuesday imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in 5-km area of the village and said that no permission has been granted for the event. 

The prohibitory orders were imposed hours after the Supreme Court directed the Uttarakhand chief secretary to place on record that no untoward statement will be made at the ‘Dharam Sansad’ scheduled in Roorkee and warned that it will hold top officials responsible in case of any hate speech being made. The event is scheduled for today.

However, The Indian Express quoted Swami Anand Swaroop, a Haridwar-based religious leader and one of the organisers of the event, saying that they will go ahead with their plans and reach the village. 

He said he will be part of the mahapanchayat along with Dharam Sansad core committee members like Yatindranand Giri, Prabodhanand Saraswati, Parmanand ji Maharaj and others.

He said the mahapanchayat has been announced to discuss police action  and their failure to arrest the main culprits in the April 16 communal violence that took place in the village during a Hanuman Jayanti procession. 

Several persons were injured and at least four vehicles were set on fire during the violence. So far 14 people, all belonging to the minority community, have been arrested in connection with the violence.

On Tuesday, a three-judge bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar took note of the assurance given by the Uttarakhand government that authorities are confident that no untoward statement will be made during the event and that all steps as per decisions of this court will be taken.

The bench also told the Uttarakhand government that the chief secretary would be asked to be appear before it if the state failed to take preventive steps.

FIRs were earlier registered in connection with the three-day Dharam Sansad that was held in Haridwar last December where hate speeches were made targeting members of a community.

The top court was hearing a petition filed by journalist Qurban Ali and former Patna High Court judge and senior advocate Anjana Prakash, who have also sought a direction for an “independent, credible and impartial investigation” by an SIT into incidents of hate speeches against the Muslim community.

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