Mira Road to see Hindutva rally tomorrow after HC grants permission, citizens approach police to ensure peace

After the Bombay High Court granted permission to Hindutva outfits to organise a shobha yatra near the Mira Bhayandar area in Mumbai which had recently seen violence, residents of Mira Road wait with trepidation for the February 25 rally and meeting of controversial BJP MLA Raja Singh to take place
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Mumbai seems to be bristling with tension. Hindutva outfits are trying to organise a shobha yatra, with Telangana BJP leader, T Raja Singh, infamous for making anti-Muslim hate speeches, as a main speaker in Mumbai’s Mira Road. 

Initially, T Raja Singh,  had been denied permission on February 21 by the police who rejected the application of Hindu Jan Akrosh Morcha to hold a rally in the Mira Road neighbourhood which is trying to come to a semblance of normalcy after in late January, 2024, the area in the heart of Mumbai recently experienced a surge of unrest and violence , as a Hindutva mob reportedly engaged in the brutal vandalism, assault, and burning of Muslim-owned establishments and vehicles.

Singh had announced his intention to conduct a ‘sabha’ in the volatile neighbourhood after posting a video on his social media. Originally scheduled for February 19, the programme was eventually postponed to February 25. In a message to his followers, he declared, “Chalo, let’s introduce people to our power on the 25th,” and had urged the police not to delay granting permission for the gathering.

Starting with Jai Sri Ram, members of the Sakal Hindu Samaj held a press conference, talked about the court hearing, and stated, ‘Today we have gotten permission. The police refused permission citing the ‘bhadkau bhashan’ (inflammatory speech) amd ‘dangey’ (riots) around Pran Pratistha, but the Bombay High Court stated that when the sabha happened in Chopda (located in Jalgaon district) and other places, there was no communal incident, you cannot stop a sabha from happening based on the potential that it might happen. And the duty to maintain law and order is of the police. And on this, our permission was granted. We, Raja bhaiya (T  Raja Singh), and the organisers, have to give an undertaking to the police that no ‘hate speech’ or any incendiary bhashan will be given. Our message to the Hindu samaj is this that on Shivaji Maharaj’s jayanti this programme will take place and will speak about his bravery and will also talk about the attacks taking place against the Hindu samaj.” 

This announcement had raised concerns among the local populace, especially given Singh’s controversial reputation and high number of criminal cases against him in light of the recent incidents of violence in Mira Road.  

However, a criminal writ petition was filed  by one Naresh Ramu Nile, who is self-acclaimedly  from  the ‘Hindu Task Force and Sakal Hindu Samaj’ before the the Bombay High Court. On February 23 a bench presided by Justice R.P. Mohite Dere and Justice Manusha Ajay Deshpande granted the organisers conditional permission to hold the event granted that they don’t make and hate speeches and directed the police to take full precautions and videotape the event. The following day, today, on February 24, a day before the event is to take place, Citizens for Justice and Peace has further written another petition urging for precautions and implementation of the Supreme Court guidelines to the Vasai Virar Police at Mira Road Bhayander. 

Citizens on ground have stated that they are going to forward another complaint to the police today. SabrangIndia spoke to an active citizen who is part of the proposed delegation, “As you know, the High Court has allowed permission, with conditions for the rally to speak. Some citizens are again going to approach the police commissioner today urging them to file an FIR if any hate speech incident should take place, and also urging that any incident of hate speech should be stopped on spot if it takes place. ..The action of the Mira-Bhayandar Vasai Virar police has not been robust against hate speech in the past. We had Kajal Hindustani earlier who called the area ‘Jihadi Nagar’. There was little action taken. No FIR was registered by police, however, people on ground repeatedly urged the police who finally after 25 days registered an FIR against her. Last time also, no case was registered in the case of hate speech after Nitesh Rane and Geeta Jain came over. Six people complained to the police, and they were given a notice by the police to come and give evidence for the complaint. However, when we went there, they did not record any statement and said they are busy. We even asked if they had called Geeta Jain. But everyone has their process of doing things, they may be investigating according to their process. As of now, we are not scared, we are going to approach the police station once again today regarding the upcoming rally, and we are alert against any incident of hate speech that may turn.”

As peace-loving citizens continue to demand action against hate speeches in the past and remain vigilant in the present, the city outside Mumbai in the Thane district waits with trepidation for Sunday 25 rally and event to pass.


Conduct Fair Inquiry, take action against MLAs Geeta Jain and Nitesh Rane: Citizens of Mira Road-Bhayandar

Mira Road: Muslim youth allegedly beaten in custody, denied food as Nitesh Rane tells supporters, “The Government is with you.”

Mira-Road Bhayander Police rejects permission to BJP MLA T Raja Singh for rally on February 25, cites hate speeches

CJP to Maharashtra Police: Halt BJP MLA Raja Singh’s rally in Mira Road, citing potential for public disruptions



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