Two weeks after being grilled by the Supreme Court over an affidavit claiming that "no hate speech was given against any community" at a Hindu religious conference in December 2021 in the national capital, the Delhi Police has now filed a case in relation to this event organised by the Hindu Yuva Vahini.
The apex court was informed of this U-turn through an affidavit filed by the Delhi Police on Saturday, 7 May.
"All links in the complaint and other material available in the public domain were analysed, and a video was found on YouTube," the police said.
The affidavit stated that between 17 and 19 December, 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.
The petition, filed by a former judge of Patna High Court, Justice Anjana Prakash, and journalist Qurban Ali, had specifically referred to a video of an event organised by the Hindu Yuva Vahini in Delhi.
What Happened at the Delhi Dharam Sansad?
The video of Hindu right-wing groups, including Hindu Yuva Vahini, and Sudarshan News Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke, that emerged on social media on Wednesday, 22 December, showed them taking an oath to "fight, die and if required, kill" in order to turn India into a Hindu rashtra (nation).
Chavhanke had purportedly administered the oath during an event organised by the Hindu Yuva Vahini on 19 December in the national capital.
“We take an oath and make a resolution that till our last breath, we will fight, die for and if need be, kill, to make this country a Hindu rashtra and keep this country a Hindu rashtra,” those present in the room declared.
What the Delhi Police Said Earlier
On 22 April this year, the Delhi Police had told the Supreme Court that its detailed investigation into the video had found no evidence of hate speech.
"In-depth investigation of the video and other material found that no hate speech was given against any community. Therefore, after investigation and evaluation of the purported video clip, it was concluded that the alleged speech contained no hate speech against a particular community."
The Delhi Police also questioned the petitioners and said they moved the top court without first approaching the police, in its affidavit filed before the Supreme Court.
"The allegations made by the petitioners against the police authorities that police authorities are hand in glove with perpetrators of communal hate are baseless and imaginary. The case is based on videotape evidence. There is hardly any scope on the part of investigation agencies to tamper with the evidence or hamper the investigation in any manner," it said.
Reacting to this, the Supreme Court had then asked if "there has been an application of mind as to if this stand can be taken on affidavit before the court?"
The apex court further asked if any superior officer had vetted the report or whether this was merely a reproductions of Investigation Officer's report?
It also asked if the Delhi Police as an institution had accepted the same report as correct.