A Gurugram court on Friday, 16 July, dismissed the bail plea of 'Ram Bhakt Gopal', the infamous Jamia shooter, who was arrested for delivering a hate speech during a Mahapanchayat in Pataudi.
The court 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 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 regularly posts 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".
What the Court Said
While perusing the contents of the FIR and the video recording available, Judge Mohammad Sageer, as reported by LiveLaw, observed:
“The act of the accused ie, hate speech qua instigating abduction and killing of girls and persons of a particular religious community is itself a form of violence and such people and their inflammatory speeches are obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit”.
"Enlarging the accused on bail despite his heinous crime which amounts to divide of the peaceful society on the basis of religion or caste would give wrong message to the divisive forces", the court added.
The court also asserted that, "The accused is not a simple innocent young boy knowing nothing rather he is showing that what he has done in the past, has now become capable to execute his hatred without any fear and also that he can move the mass to involve in his hatred."
Further, stressing that such kind of people who try to create disharmony and spread hatred amongst common people are actually harming this country more than the pandemic, the court denied bail to Gopal.
Observing that his alleged offences were very serious and severe in nature, the court said, the consequences of these kind of activities may be far more dangerous and it may translate into communal violence.
"At this juncture, rights of the accused of his personal liberty cannot be preferred against the right of the society in peaceful communal harmony and balance lies in favour of the later", the court observed.
(With inputs from LiveLaw)