Women protest at Karnataka DGP headquarters, say ‘Why no action against Muthalik?’

Pramod Muthalik had asked Hindu youth to target Muslim girls in response to allegations of ‘Love Jihad’


Days after the Hindutva extremist leader and head of the Sri Ram Sena Pramod Muthalik urged Hindu men to “get 10 Muslim girls for losing one Hindu girl to Love-Jihad, and declared that such Hindu men would be provided security and employment by his organisation, ordinary citizens protested outside the office of Director General of Police (DGP), Praveen Sood, protesting against the derogatory comment made by Muthalik. With evocative banners, women protesters have raised questions regarding the inaction of the police against hate speeches.




Citizens also displayed numerous placards calling for the filing of a suo moto FIR against Muthalik, reminding the senior Karnataka police officer of the Supreme Court’s guidelines on hate speech, which state that police can take suo moto action against those who incite hatred through their speeches. The placard said “Who is stopping DGP Karnataka police (from) comply (ing) with SC Guidelines?” 

Protesters displayed and shared on social media a questionnaire addressed to the DGP, available in English and Kannada, which included eight questions.

Alt News co-founder and fact checker, Mohammed Zubair, also posted a series of tweets about the protest, urging the Karnataka police to take action against Muthalik. He tweeted, “DGP & other government officials very well know where these hate speeches are going on & the districts it’s going on in. It is the responsibility of DGP to safeguard the citizens of this state and to prevent any kind of violence rising out of this hate speeches.”

His tweets can be read here:



Weaponisation of women bodies- a tactic of revenge in this men’s world

Another placard was displayed by the citizens, saying “Does the police think women’s bodies from one community to another are for exchange?” Another poster read “While Sri Ram Sene offers support those who target Muslim women, how can women feel safe in the state? What are you going to do about this DGP Karnataka?”

This brought in the issue of women safety in this country. This is not the first time that women have been treated as commodities by the Hindu right wing outfits, which are to be protected and exploited according to the calls made by them. In the recent times, the ‘love jihad’ bogey has been used by the Hindu extremist outfits to further their communal agenda. In this particular speech, made at a public rally in Karnataka’s Bagalkot on February 19, Muthalik had said that “They are trapping Hindu women through ‘love jihad’. I am instructing our workforce, if we lose one Hindu girl, we must trap 10 Muslim women”.

“Our girls are exploited in love jihad. Across the country, thousands of girls are cheated in the name of love. We should warn them,” the politician had further said. Thus, in the name of “protecting” women belonging one religion, the Hindu extremist leader created this barter system wherein the women of other religion are to be hurt, raped, abducted, and presumably impregnated. It is sad to state that a culture which promotes the “worship” of women, certain extremist leaders are treating them as commodities and weapons. It is further worrisome to see that in a country with myriad laws made to protect women and prosecute those who even attempt to harm the dignity of women, such shameless and gruesome calls are not acted upon by those who are supposed to protect the citizens.

Time and again, women have been dragged in by Hindutva extremist leaders to involve the feelings of honor. Last week, at the event in Baramati, Kalicharan said that Muslims want to convert everyone to Islam because those who are not Muslims are Kaafirs and it is written in the Quran that you should kill a Kaafir. “I am Kaafir which means I am eligible to be killed (by them),” he said. He said, “Wives of Kaafirs are stolen property and one woman being raped by 50 men is not a big deal.” Here too, he brought down the worth of a woman to just being a commodity that can be raped.

In another such incident of December 2022, Kalicharan had said, “The women of our houses are very good and civilised and they do not go to vote (in election). When there will be gang-rapes then what will happen to women of your houses (families).” In another instance, in May 2022, Kalicharan was heard saying that “80 crore women were gang rape in 800 years, 5 Lakh mandirs were demolished in the last 800 years and mosques were constructed in its place.

On April 2, 2022, Bajrang Muni Das had openly threatened Muslim women with sexual assault while addressing supporters from his vehicle parked outside a mosque in Sitapur. Das’s audience comprised people who were part of a procession on the occasion of Hindu New Year. Das spoke into a microphone connected to loudspeaker and said, “If you tease a single [Hindu] girl, I will abduct your daughters and daughters-in-law from your house, and rape them in public.”

Not much time has passed since Muslim women were targeted online. In July 2021, nearly 80 Muslim women were targeted and put up “for sale” on the S**li Deals app, and in January 2022, over 100 Muslim women were targeted using the B**li Bai app. Both B**li and S**li are sexually derogatory words used to target Muslim women. CJP had promptly complained against these offensive twitter accounts and the social media platform, compelling Twitter to remove 21 such accounts by suspending them for “violating Twitter’s Terms of Service”. Further, three unchecked accounts had been “actioned for violating Twitter’s Media Policy”. CJP had, in its complaint dated May 26, 2021 also brought to twitter’s attention certain posts made through these accounts that demeaned Muslim women as “sex objects for Hindu men”. The content displayed pornographic videos of women in hijab with inflammatory captions presenting Muslim women as objects meant to be sexually exploited, and also photoshopped pictures of Hindu men and pregnant women in saffron hijab. Out of these, Twitter had removed 11 posts for violating Twitter norms.

Not only men, but women extremist Hindu leaders have also made calls to Hindu men for raping Muslim women. At the Dharma Sansad held at Raipur, Chhattisgarh during December 25-26, 2021, a Hindu woman, said to be Vibhanand Giri, is heard exhorting Hindu men to “rape and impregnate Muslim women if Muslim men cast even a glance at Hindu girls”.

President KR Narayanan had once said, “Can we not pledge to get rid of everything in our behaviour, culture and everyday life that humiliates and demeans women?” Sadly, the situation has only worsened. In today’s India, where there is a “clash” between members belonging to two separate communities, it is the women who face the brunt of it. Starting from the innumerable and gruesome rapes that took place during partition, the Sikh genocide, the Kashmir exodus, the Gujarat riots, to the most recent Muzaffarnagar riots, women have been the silent suffers. Since the honor of every religion has been attached to the vagina of a woman, they are the ones who are targeted the most.

Legal position on Filing of suo-moto FIRs

In Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan v. Union of India, (Ref: AIR 2014 SC 1591), the Supreme Court has unambiguously stated that “hate speech is an effort to marginalise individuals based on their membership to a group, that can have a social impact. Moreover, the Court stated that hate speech lays the groundwork for broad attacks on the vulnerable that can range from discrimination, to ostracism, deportation, violence, and even to genocide. Therefore, the aforementioned news items are tantamount to the perpetration of genocide, and must be considered to be in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution.” (Para 7)

In Firoz Iqbal Khan vs Union of India [W. P (Civ.) No. 956 of 2020], the Supreme Court had held, “..the edifice of a democratic society committed to the rule of law under a regime of constitutional rights, values and duties is founded on the co-existence of communities. India is a melting pot of civilizations, cultures, religions and languages. Any attempt to vilify a religious community must be viewed with grave disfavour by this Court as the custodian of constitutional values.” (Para 11)

In October 2022, the Supreme Court had issued a set of interim directions to authorities and government in a plea to curb hate speeches in the country. A bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy had directed Governments should take suo motu action against any hate speech crime, without waiting for any complaint. The action should be taken regardless of the religion of the speaker. Any hesitation to act as per the directions would be viewed as contempt of court, the Court warned.

A bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy was hearing a petition seeking urgent intervention to stop the “growing menace of targeting and terrorizing the Muslim Community in India”.

The bench issued notice on the petition observing that the complaint raised that the authorities are not taking action by not registering criminal complaints against hate crimes was serious. The bench said that the complaint of the petitioner relates to the “prevailing climate of hate in the country” and total inaction of the authorities.

“The Constitution of India envisages Bharat as a secular nation and fraternity, assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the country are guiding principles enshrined in the Preamble. There cannot be fraternity unless members of the community drawn from different religions or castes are able to live in harmony”, the bench observed in the order.

The order can be read here.

According to The Hindu, Vinay Sreenivasa, a city-based advocate and human rights activist, said that the police were making wrong claims on their legal positions regarding registering suo-moto FIRs in all cognizable offences. He was quoted as saying, “In fact, suo motu FIRs were registered against actor Chetan Ahimsa for his tweet on judiciary, student activists Amulya and Arudra during the anti-CAA protests. Supreme Court in its order on Shaheen Abdulla versus Union government directed three State governments to register suo motu FIRs in cases of hate speech.”


Muslim women have been increasingly targeted with vile sexual threats, both online and on the ground. The blatantly abusive behaviour is often spearheaded with impunity by right-wing extremists and socio-culturally influential members of the majority community. It has been made clear above that the authorities have full power to take action against anti-woman and derogatory comments made by Muthalik. Despite this, no action has been taken. It is also pertinent to note that had such comments been made by a person who was not backed by the majority community, the actions followed such a statement had been different.

This brings us to the question: like many other issues, will the issue of women safety be dictated by the religious background one belongs to? In addition to selective action, will selective protection be granted by the authorities?

And the most important question of them all: who are the women supposed to approach when the police themselves are supporting the perpetrators?

The police is bound under law and the constitutional oath to take stern action against Muthalik and set an example for his peers. If this incident is ignored, even after there are directions laid down by the Supreme Court, it will add on to the current environment of unsafety that exists for the women and the marginalized in India. Such state sponsored impunity may make Muslim women more and more vulnerable in the social and public sphere.


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Hate Speech: Kalicharan spews hate against Muslims in protest for “Love-Jihad” law, Maharashtra

How the Supreme Court has interpreted hate speech over decades

Remission to Bilkis Bano’s Rapists Offends Gandhi’s Ideas of Swaraj

Orchestrated right-wing campaign targets Muslim women: Can the Law defend them adequately?

Has inaction prompted another Muslim women’s auction on the internet?

CJP moves NCM, writes to DGP Maharashtra against notorious hate offender Kalicharan

CJP Impact: Ncm Acts On Cjp’s Complaint Against Genocidal Speech Of Bjp Mla Haribhushan Bachaul



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