A Haryana Court, on Monday, 2 August, granted bail to Ram Bhakt Gopal, the infamous 'Jamia shooter', who was arrested for delivering communal speeches against the Muslim community during a mahapanchayat in Pataudi.
Granting him bail, Additional Sessions Judge Dr DN Bharadwaj pointed out that while the Constitution of India guarantees freedom of speech to all citizen, that freedom is not “wild free” and that there are reasonable restrictions in place.
WHAT ELSE DID THE COURT SAY?
Further, the court restrained Gopal from organising, attending or addressing any public gathering, which is likely to promote disharmony or feeling of enmity, hatred or ill-will between religious/racial groups/community.
He has also been restrained from participating in any such gathering “which is prejudicial to the maintenance of religious harmony or likely to disturb the public tranquility or cause fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity amongst members of any religious group/community or to outrage the religious feelings of any religious group/community”.
Gopal is not permitted to accept any recognition or felicitations from any person or group or society etc individually or collectively, in connection with this case or any other case of a similar nature.
On 16 July, a Gurugram court had dismissed his plea and noted that it was clear that the gathering was present where the accused gave hate speeches and used inflammatory language, raised slogans in the name of religion to kill persons of another religion.
Further, the court had added:
"Our Constitution even gives protection to non-citizens of India then it’s the duty of the state as well as the Judiciary to ensure that citizens of India of any religion or faith or caste should not feel unprotected and that such hate mongers cannot walk freely without any fear.”
Ram Bhakt Gopal had shot at an anti-CAA protester outside Jamia Milia Islamia on 30 January 2020. He was booked then as a minor and was let out on bail after a few months.
Since then, he had regularly posted pictures and videos on his social media profiles, bragging about taking to weapons against anti-CAA protesters. On 4 July, he addressed a mahapanchayat that also had Haryana BJP spokesperson Suraj Pal Amu in attendance.
In his speech, he says, "I have only come here to offer solutions. I never pick up the mic in my hands. Every youth knows what you should be picking up at times like this."
As a solution to 'Love Jihad', a conspiracy theory by Hindu right-wing that alleges Muslim men are funded to marry Hindu women to increase the former community's population, the shooter said, "Do you not have big cars? If they can take our sisters, can you not pick up their sisters? You don't even have to change your name. Save them from halal and hijab. Bring them to the sanatan dharma with respect."
He ended his speech by raising the slogan, "Jab Mulle Kate Jayenge..." And the crowd cheered, "Ram Ram Chilayenge".