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'Dharam Sansad' No More Allowed as Curfew Imposed in Roorkee; 33 Booked

A ban on assemblies has been imposed in Uttarakhand's Roorkee where a 'Dharam Sansad' was scheduled to be held.

Updated
India
2 min read
'Dharam Sansad' No More Allowed as Curfew Imposed in Roorkee; 33 Booked
i

A ban on assemblies was imposed in Uttarakhand's Roorkee on Tuesday, 26 April, where a 'Dharam Sansad' was scheduled to be held on Wednesday. Swami Dineshanand, a crucial figure involved in the organisation of the event, was taken into police custody along with several others.

Haridwar SSP Yogendra Singh Rawat said that Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed around 5 km radius of Jalalpur, banning assembly, and that legal proceedings will be initiated against anyone violating the order. He added that 200 police personnel were deployed in the region to maintain law and order.

District Magistrate Vinay Shankar Pande said, "Programmes of all kinds are fully prohibited. I also want to clarify that for this programme no permission was taken from the authorities, and after the imposition of Section 144, any such event is illegal. The event cannot be arranged tomorrow, the situation is clear."

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A case has been lodged against 33 people involved in the organisation of the event, the district magistrate said.

This comes after a Supreme Court order directing preventive measures to be taken against any "untoward statements" at the religious gathering. The court's direction came in the light of another such assembly held in Haridwar in December 2021, where incendiary speeches were delivered.

Swami Dineshanand Taken Into Police Custody

Earlier in the day, Swami Dineshanand, one of the key organisers of the event, was taken into police custody at the Mandawar Police Station.

He was taken away from Shiv Mandir in Dada Jalalpur, where preparations were being made for the mahapanchayat.

"The police has taken away all the speakers and DJ material. Also, there is heavy police deployment in the village," said a local, noting that it might be impossible to hold a mahapanchayat on Wednesday.

What Had the Supreme Court Said?

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court instructed Uttarakhand's chief secretary to assure on record that no 'untoward statement' would be made at the event.

The apex court said that in case of the absence of preventive measures, the chief secretary, home secretary, and other concerned officials would be held responsible for instances of hate speech.

The three-judge SC bench, comprising Justices Abhay S Oka, CT Ravikumar, and AM Khanwilkar, reportedly said, "We direct the chief secretary of Uttarakhand to place the above position on record and apprise us about the corrective measures."

"We will hold the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, IG concerned responsible if any untoward situation happens despite your assurance! We are putting it on record … You know what are the preventive measures to be taken," the court added, according to LiveLaw.

The Supreme Court's direction reportedly came while hearing a petition by a former judge of Patna High Court, Justice Anjana Prakash, and journalist Qurban Ali. The petition sought criminal action against the hate speeches made at the previous Hindu religious conferences.

Between 17 to 19 December 2021, at two separate events in Delhi and Uttarakhand's pilgrimage city of Haridwar, multiple calls to kill minorities and attack their religious spaces were made.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Published: 
Edited By :Tejas Harad
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