Ensure law-and-order in Malwani during Ram Navami: HC to Mumbai police | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Ensure law-and-order in Malwani during Ram Navami: HC to Mumbai police

BySahyaja MS
Apr 16, 2024 10:50 AM IST

Bombay HC directs Mumbai Police to ensure safety of Ram Navami processions in sensitive area with Muslim population after concerns of hate speech.

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court instructed the Mumbai Police to ensure the safety of Ram Navami processions in the sensitive Malad-Malwani area of Mumbai, which has a significant Muslim population, on April 17. This instruction came after concerns were raised by Advocate Karim Pathan, representing a petitioner seeking FIRs against those involved in hate speech, particularly in the context of past incidents similar to the Mira Road violence in January 2024.

Devotees participate in a religious procession ahead of Ram Navami festival in Jagdalpur, Bastar.(PTI)
Devotees participate in a religious procession ahead of Ram Navami festival in Jagdalpur, Bastar.(PTI)

A bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Manjusha Deshpande emphasised the need for police to prevent law and order issues during the processions. Pathan highlighted instances where rallies deliberately passed through minority areas and paused near mosques during prayer times.

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The bench asked Advocate General Birendra Saraf to work with the police to alter procession routes, stressing the police’s authority in determining these routes. The court referenced a previous petition, wherein it allowed MLA T Raja Singh to conduct the rally but mandated route changes.

While acknowledging its inability to stop public rallies, the court instructed the police to take necessary action if any violations occur, regardless of the political affiliations involved.

“We cannot stop any public rally. But we expect your officers will take appropriate action in accordance with the law if there is any breach irrespective of the political party. In another matter, we had granted permission (to MLA T Raja Singh) to hold the rally in Maharashtra on the assurance of the undertaking that there would not be any breach. Despite that, an FIR had to be lodged. If there is any breach of law, action should be taken,” said the bench.

The court was hearing a plea from five Mumbai residents seeking FIRs against BJP MLAs Nitesh Rane and Gita Jain, as well as Telangana MLA T Raja Singh, for alleged hate speech during the Mira Road violence in 2024.

Last week, the court directed the police commissioners of Mira Bhayander Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation and Mumbai to personally review the speeches and decide within a week whether to file FIRs against the politicians. However, as the commissioners failed to reach a decision, the court granted them an extension until April 22, to inform the court of their decision by the next day. The matter will be further discussed on April 23.

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