Hate surges across Uttarkhand, Karnataka, Delhi, and UP

Sabrang India brings to you a breakdown of the recent hate incidents across the nation

In the past week, India has witnessed a surge in hate incidents across several states, including Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Delhi. From the demolition of Muslim shrines to divisive speeches targeting Muslims and Christians, the nation continues further to grapple with rising hate.


In Amit Gram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, members of the Devbhoomi Raksha Abhiyan were captured on viral videos demolishing two Muslim shrines, known as mazars, using hammers while chanting Jai Shri Ram slogans. These videos showed individuals from the right-wing group shattering headstones on the graves within the mazars. Additionally, a bulldozer is also seen in another clip behind clearing the debris left behind by the demolished shrines. At one shocking moment, a person can be heard stating, “We have thrown out the dead person inside the grave,” as a JCB machine removes the remnants of the destroyed shrine. He goes on to say, “All the dead residing in these mazars will be thrown out.” The Devbhoomi Raksha Abhiyan, identified as a right-wing Hindutva organisation, has been conducting an anti-encroachment drive in various parts of the state, resulting in the demolition of several mazars as part of their efforts, according to India.com.

Devbhoomi Raksha Abhiyan president Swami Darshan Bharti has alleged claimed that they had obtained permission from the landowners on which these mazars were situated to carry out the demolitions. Authorities such as the Rishikesh Kotwali SHO Khushi Ram Pandey has reportedly taken action by lodging a case under section 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against unidentified individuals in connection with this incident. The incident surfaced on Twitter on 28th of August, 2023.

Uttar Pradesh

In Jalalabad, Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, leaders of the Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad were seen actively rallying Hindus throughout the state citing the Gyanvapi mosque and demanding for its conversion into a Hindu temple. At this event, the speaker also urged that the ongoing court proceedings concerning the mosque should ultimately favour the “Andolan,” or the movement demanding the conversion to temple.


In Doddaballapura, Karnataka, Pramod Muthalik, the leader of Sri Ram Sena, delivered a hate speech targeting Muslims and issued threats against interfaith marriages. This alarming incident surfaced on social media on September 2, 2023, originating from the Congress-ruled state of Karnataka.

Pramod Muthalik has been a participant in RSS, Bajrang Dal, and the BJP. He was banned from entering Mangelore by BJP in Karnataka once whereafter he contested against the BJP. There have been calls to ban the organisation. Muthalik has also been accused of molestation several times. Just earlier this year, on June 14, 2023, the Karnataka High Court dismissed the legal proceedings initiated against Pramod Mutalik. These proceedings was against events in 2017 when Mutalik was accused of delivering a derogatory speech. He had been charged under Sections 153A (Promoting Enmity between different groups) and 295(A) (punishment for deliberate acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) of the IPC for allegedly using offensive language during a public gathering according to Sabrang India.

According to an article by Times Now from 2005, he has had 45 cases of molestation pending against him at one point of times. He has been noted by observers to be an ardent Hindutva supporter. While the 2022 hijab ban crisis in Karnataka, his organisation, the Sri Ram Sena called for an economic boycott of Muslims, reported The Hindu.

In 2018, a local court had acquitted Pramod Muthalik and 30 others in the case related to the pub attack that occurred in January 2009 due to a lack of evidence. The magistrate had cleared Muthalik and the 30 others associated with the Sri Ram Sene, who had been charged by the then BJP government in the state.

Earlier this year, there was also a protest in front of the office of the Director General of Police (DGP) in Karnataka against him. The protest was primarily led by women who demanded his arrest after Muthalik had made derogatory and violent statements against women in February when he stated in his speech, Hindu men should “get 10 Muslim girls for every Hindu girl lost to Love-Jihad”. Furthermore, he had also assured that his organisation would provide security and employment to such Hindu men. Notably, no action was taken in response to these statements at that time by authorities.

Similarly, for his recent statements against minorities earlier last week, many concerned individuals took to social media, urging the authorities and tagging them to address this matter. Yet these calls remains to be heard as there appeared to be no immediate response from the authorities regarding this speech when Sabrang India searched.


In Delhi, Kanhiya Mittal, a Hindutva singer, delivered a divisive speech in which he reportedly spoke against Christian minorities. He asserted, “The Christian religion is advancing swiftly, and they are actively engaged in converting Hindus. That isn’t the case in Delhi as well, is it? Well, when you encounter a Father, show him who is the Grandfather,” gesturing behind, as he addressed a jubilant crowd that responded with roars.

He went on to cite an example where he allegedly asked the President of Uganda to place a statue of Bholenath above that of Jesus, because the former is “grandfather”. Mittal retorts to the roaring crowd, asking them not to get converted, “Listen, don’t get converted. Encouraging them not to celebrate Christmas, he further warned, “Dare you bring the plant of the British (the Christmas tree) if you are Hindu. If you get – anything get the Tulsi. They should know Hindus have awakened!”

In August last month, Justice Khanna expressed concerns about the need for individuals to resort to the courts to address instances of hate speech. He proposed the establishment of an internal mechanism, such as a committee under the Director General of Police, to handle complaints related to hate speech. He urged the government to consider this approach.

Similarly, according to the Times of India, the government has put forth specific provisions under the title of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita to address hate speech, proposing punishment of up to three years in jail and fines for offenses that are related to religion. The newly introduced bill in Parliament aims to punish spoken as well as written words and signs that insult the religious sentiments of people. It also includes a one-year jail term for those intentionally hurting someone’s religious feelings.

Currently, hate speech is not explicitly addressed in the Indian Penal Code, and courts rely on various other provisions to prosecute offenders. Recommendations from the Law Commission had earlier highlighted the need to define hate speech as a distinct crime in the law, a step that the new bill aims to undertake. In the absence of a law specific to hate speech, such offenses are generally dealt by the Indian Penal Code (IPC) through various sections, including 153A, 153B, 295A, 298, 505(1), and 505(2). These sections, including section 153A, clearly state that any form of spoken or written expression that fosters disharmony, hatred, or insults based on factors such as religion, ethnicity, culture, language, region, caste and more can result in legal penalties.


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