The Supreme Court’s intervention comes after calls by Hindu religious leaders to take up arms against Muslims during a meeting in the state of Uttarakhand last month.
India’s Supreme Court has issued notice to a northern Himalayan state following a petition seeking to prosecute several Hindu religious leaders for allegedly asking for a “genocide” of Muslims last month at a closed door meeting.
Three high court judges said on Wednesday they were informing the Uttarakhand state government that they would investigate the case next week.
According to a police complaint, the religious leaders called on Hindus to arm themselves to kill Muslims during a meeting in the northern holy town of Haridwar, in Uttarakhand, in December.
Police said they were questioning suspects about the hate speech, but no arrests were made.
Videos of the event provoked outrage, prompting demands for action. In one track that went viral, a speaker at the rally told the crowd that people should not worry about going to jail for the murder of Muslims.
“Even if only one hundred of our soldiers become and kill two million of them, we will be victorious… If you stand with this attitude only then you will protect ‘sanatana dharma’ [an absolute form of Hinduism], ”The woman said.
The state of Uttarakhand is ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose rise to power in 2014 led to an increase in attacks on Muslims and other minorities.
The petition filed by the retired judge Anjana Prakash stated that the speeches held at the congregation of the Hindu religious leaders “not only pose a serious threat to the unity and integrity of our country but also the “endangering the lives of millions of Muslim citizens,” Bar said. & Bench, an online portal for Indian legal news.
India’s Muslims are subject to discrimination and religious persecution under the BJP government, which critics say is aimed at marginalizing Muslims and turning secular, democratic India into a Hindu nation.
The president of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, India’s largest socio-religious Muslim organization, has accused the government of turning a blind eye to the hate speech against the Muslim community.
Last month, Indian police Hindu religious leader arrested, Kalicharan Maharaj, for allegedly making a derogatory speech against India’s independence leader Mohandas Gandhi and praising his assassin.
Gandhi was shot dead by a Hindu extremist during a prayer rally in the Indian capital in 1948 because he called for Hindu-Muslim unity during the partition of the Indian subcontinent by British colonial rulers in 1947 in India and Pakistan.
In the northern state of Haryana, which is also controlled by the BJP, Hindu vigilantes tried last month to stop Muslims of offering Friday prayers by shouting religious slogans and terrifying worshipers in the presence of heavy police security.
In November, Hindu hardliners set on fire to the home of a former Muslim foreign minister, Salman Khurshid, who likened the kind of Hindu nationalism that flourished under Modi to “extremist groups” such as ISIL (ISIS).
In addition, anti-conversion laws have been introduced in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, while other states have also announced their intention to introduce similar legislation.
The laws were in response to a conspiracy theory accusing Muslims of luring Hindu women into marriage with the aim of forcibly converting them to Islam. Laws against conversion are also justified on allegations that Christian missionaries are involved in the conversion of poor Hindus. Many churches have come under attack in recent months.
Modi’s BJP and his ideological parent far-right Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) warned Hindus about religious conversions to Islam and Christianity, and called for action to prevent a “demographic imbalance” in the world’s second most populous nation.
Muslims make up almost 14 percent of India’s 1.4 billion people. Hindus still make up almost 80 percent of the population. A Pew study published last September revealed that all religious groups showed declines in fertility rates, and that the country’s religious composition had hardly changed since 1951.